Fox
2020 Longlist

Fox

Translated from the Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursać and David Williams
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ABOUT
THE BOOK

With characteristic wit and narrative force, Fox takes us from Russia to Japan, through Balkan minefields and American road trips, and from the 1920s to the present, as it explores the power of storytelling and literary invention, notions of betrayal, and the randomness of human lives and biographies.

Using the duplicitous and shape-shifting fox of Eastern folklore as a motif, Ugresic constructs a novel that reinvents itself over and over, blending nuggets of literary trivia (like how Nabokov named the Neonympha dorothea dorothea butterfly after the woman who drove him cross-country), with the timeless story of a woman trying to escape her hometown and find love to magical effect.

 

 

ABOUT
THE AUTHOR Dubravka
Ugrešić

Dubravka Ugrešić is the winner of several major literary prizes including the Austrian State Prize for European Literature 1998 and Neustadt International Prize for Literature 2016 and finalist of Man Booker International Prize 2009. Ugresic lives in Amsterdam.

Dubravka Ugrešić is the winner of several major literary prizes including the Austrian State Prize for European Literature 1998 and Neustadt International Prize for Literature 2016 and finalist of Man Booker International Prize 2009. Ugresic lives in Amsterdam.

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR David
Williams

ABOUT
THE TRANSLATOR Ellen
Elias-Bursac

Ellen Elias-Bursac is a free-lance literary translator and independent scholar  President of the American Literary Translators Association  Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She has been working as a literary and community translator since the mid-1970's, starting when she lived in Yugoslavia (Zagreb, Croatia) from 1974 to 1990. Just a year before the war broke out in Yugoslavia, the family moved back to the Boston area where Ellen is from. She taught for ten years in the Slavic Languages and Literatures Department of Harvard University as a preceptor (language instructor). After that she went to work at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, where she spent a total of six and a half years as a translator/reviser in the English Translation Unit.
Ellen Elias-Bursac is a free-lance literary translator and independent scholar  President of the American Literary Translators Association  Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. She has been working as a literary and community translator since the mid-1970's, starting when she lived in Yugoslavia (Zagreb, Croatia) from 1974 to 1990. Just a year before the war broke out in Yugoslavia, the family moved back to the Boston area where Ellen is from. She taught for ten years in the Slavic Languages and Literatures Department of Harvard University as a preceptor (language instructor). After that she went to work at the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) in The Hague, where she spent a total of six and a half years as a translator/reviser in the English Translation Unit.

NOMINATING LIBRARY COMMENTS

Fox calls for fighting and defending literature needing to be comprehended as something more than a game.  Humour, wit, intelligence, playfulness, curiosity are characteristics of great literature players and therefore writers are foxes, metaphors of traitors and true art work. The main narrative is a story about Russian Avantgarde and how stories are created entangled with biographical moments having a scholarship in Moscow. Position of an emigrant is immanent to many writers and is actually a state of mind where complicated identities who become free and wild, subversive people and do not want to be part of any family. Similarly, Dubravka Ugresicis a Croatian literary emigrant and she is erasing borders among literature, genres, themes and styles and telling a story of contemporary time and writers in her own witty, bright, provoking, playful and intimate, a bit bitter but masterful manner.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

Country
Croatia
Original Language
Croatian
Publisher
Open Letter Books
Translator
Ellen Elias-Bursac, David Williams
Translation
Translated from the Croatian by Ellen Elias-Bursać and David Williams

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