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Maša Kolanović (born in Zagreb, 1979) works as an associate professor in the Department of Croatian Studies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Zagreb. She graduated from the same faculty with a degree in Croatian language and comparative literature and a PhD. So far, she has published a number of articles on literature and popular culture, as well as the following novels: Sloboština Barbie (V.B.Z., Zagreb, 2008; translated into German as Underground Barbie, Prospero Verlag, Berlin-Münster, 2012) and Poštovani kukci i druge jezive priče (Dear Insects and Other Scary Stories, Profil knjiga d.o.o., Zagreb, 2019). She has also published two poetry books, Pijavice za usamljene (Leeches for the Lonely, Student Center, Zagreb, 2001) and Jamerika (Algoritam, Zagreb, 2013), and one monograph, Udarnik! Buntovnik? Potrošač… (Striker! Rebel? Consumer…, Naklada Ljevak, Zagreb, 2011), and has also edited Komparativni postsocijalizam: slavenska iskustva (Comparative Postsocialism: Slavic Experiences, Zagreb, Slavic School and FF Press, Zagreb, 2013) and The Cultural Life of Capitalism in Yugoslavia (with D. Jelača and D. Lugarić, Palgrave Macmillan, New York and London, 2017).



EUPL Year 2020 | Winning Book



This book tells of the absurdity of existence, connected to ruthless capitalism, with protagonists who try to preserve their dignity while floundering like bugs and sometimes literally ‘cracking up’. There are 12 stories with a range of compelling topics. An old aunt afraid of being buried alive decides to bring her cellphone to the grave, asking her family to call her the day after the funeral. A storyteller reads advertising slogans from IKEA’s catalogue to her dying husband and the former director of a department store. A girl whose mother died of colon cancer opens her mum’s wardrobe to find her ‘spending diary’ about how and what she bought through eBay, frantically spending money in order not to think about her diagnosis. An old father finds himself in the hands of a teleoperator with whom he signed an unfavourable contract, and begins to get huge bills because he can’t handle technology. A child asks her parents to get her exactly the sort of doll she happened to see in a documentary about Chernobyl. All 12 of them are stories in which life and death intertwine alongside laughter, some tears in the eyes and a lump in the throat.



Translated Excerpt



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Organisation:  Profil knjiga d.o.o.