Year of publication
Number of pages
Austria (Folio Verlag)
Bosnia and Herzegovina (Buybook)
Hungary (Typotex Kiadó)
Italy (Forum Editrice)
Latvia (SIA Lasitava)
Lithuania (Kitos knygos)
Romania (Casa Cărții de Știință)
Spain (Libros del asteroide)
Sweden (Ramus Förlag)
UK (Istros Books)
English pdf, German pdf, Spanish pdf
family relationships, fathers and sons, breakup of Yugoslavia, Yugoslav Wars, 1991, war criminals
Jugoslavija, moja dežela
Yugoslavia, My Fatherland
It is the summer of 1991 and Vladan Borojević, 11, is enjoying an almost idyllic childhood in the seaside town of Pula in today's Croatia. Unaware of underlying tensions within their country on the brink of disintegration, he and his young friends spend their days hanging out, swimming and playing sports. His Serbian-born father is a proud member of the Yugoslav Army who is first redeployed to Belgrade with his family, which puts a sudden end to Vladan's childhood, and ultimately disappears from their life. Vladan and his mother then move back to his mother's native Slovenia and soon receive news that Vladan's father supposedly died in the war.Seventeen years later, Vladan, now estranged from his mother and still living in Slovenia, googles the name of his father and unexpectedly discovers a dark family secret. The discovery that he is the son of a fugitive war criminal sends him off on a journey around the Balkans to find his elusive father. On the way, he begins to understand how the falling apart of his family is closely linked with the disintegration of the world they used to live in. The story of the Borojević family deals intimately with the tragic fates of the people who managed to avoid the bombs but were unable to escape the war.
Awards and nominations
Kresnik Award for best novel of the year 2013
Shortlisted for the Hotlist Prize 2016 for best book from an independent German publishing house
Longlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award 2017
Vojnović is influenced by American movies, and Yugoslavia, My Fatherland uses cinema’s generic conventions to address the theme of war crimes head-on … A gripping narrative that requires no allegorical decipherment, its author employs a noir style to capture the seaminess and stupor of Yugoslavia and traces these early symptoms to the country’s disintegration. In this milieu, national or ethnic identity is a giant Rubik’s cube made of razors.
At last comes a work which will become required reading both within and beyond the Balkans. It is profound and important and, quietly published in translation from a small publisher, it is far more convincing than many more imagined and over-hyped works which simply lack the essential truths which only an insider can bring to a narrative.
This is one of the most impassioned novels I have read in a long time. The author, Goran Vojnović, is a Slovenian poet, screen writer, and film director. He draws on this background to roll out a complex story that deftly weaves back and forth in time, negotiating the highly charged ethnic and geographic divisions that have long defined and divided the Balkan region. roughghosts An important book. The author has taken what is an explosive subject and with a clever and captivating approach turned it into excellent fiction and a great narrative about the power of the past.
Vojnović takes his protagonist on a journey through the remains of time, through places where time stopped. Places that were full of life and are now cold graveyards of broken lives.
Vojnović was probably the first in the Balkan region to ask the question that has perhaps the greatest importance for the future, the question that only children can ask their parents if there is to be any effect: “And what did you do during the war?” Tportal.hr The bleakness of this story is redeemed by the searing honesty, un-sentimentality and insight of the storyteller. There’s also a wonderfully wild wordiness and exuberance to his language.
Yugoslavia, My Fatherland is a novel which has caused delight and controversy in the countries of former Yugoslavia since its publication. Written by talented young writer Goran Vojnović, whose first novel Southern Scum Go Home was also a provocative but soul-searching look at the ethnic divides in his native Slovenia, this novel goes back to recent bloody history in order to explain the present. Twenty years after the end of the war in Croatia and Bosnia, the book was released in the UK to coincide with the anniversary of the signing of the Dayton Agreement. Direct, honest and told through a simple family saga, the novel nevertheless deals with some very complex and important themes through the voice of the cynical, damaged narrator. Yugoslavia, My Fatherland could be the novel that English-speaking audiences have been waiting for – a doorway to understanding the last European conflict of the twentieth century.
This is one of the most impassioned novels I have read in a long time. The author, Goran Vojnović, is a Slovenian poet, screen writer, and film director. He draws on this background to roll out a complex story that deftly weaves back and forth in time, negotiating the highly charged ethnic and geographic divisions that have long defined and divided the Balkan region.
Vojnović was probably the first in the Balkan region to ask the question that has perhaps the greatest importance for the future, the question that only children can ask their parents if there is to be any effect: “And what did you do during the war?”