Josip Novakovich nominated for the Man Booker International Prize

place: London, UK
organiser: The Man Booker Prize
Canadian author of Croatian origin and Concordia creative writing professor Josip Novakovich is one of 10 authors nominated for the fifth Man Booker International Prize. Worth £60,000, the award recognizes the world’s finest modern literature.

For Novakovich, this recognition comes after decades of scholarship and publishing. The short-story writer, novelist and essayist was born in Croatia, where he grew up under the authoritarian regime of Marshal Tito. He studied medicine in Serbia before moving to the U.S. where he continued his schooling, first in psychology at Vassar College and then in creative writing at Yale. He joined Concordia’s Department of English as a professor of creative writing in 2009.

Known for his writing about the atrocities of the war in former Yugoslavia, Novakovich has published critically acclaimed short story collections – including Yolk, Salvation and Other Disasters and Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust – that are characterized by a darkly comic tone.

The finalists’ list was announced by the chair of judges, Sir Christopher Ricks, at a press conference hosted at the Jaipur Literature Festival in India on January 24, 2013. The winner will be announced on May 22, 2013.
Josip Novakovich, a short-story writer, novelist and writer of narrative essays, was born in 1956 what is now Croatia and grew up under the authoritarian rule of Marshal Tito near the Hungarian border in the central Croatian town of Daruvar. He studied medicine in Serbia, and then moved to America, where his mother had been born, and continued his studies, in psychology and then in creative writing, at Vassar College and at Yale. He lives in Montreal, where he teaches creative writing at Concordia University, and he has recently taken Canadian citizenship.

His three short-story collections, Yolk, Salvation and Other Disasters and Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust, all contain work that is darkly comic. He is known in particular for his depiction of violence, and for his writing about the Yugoslav war and its atrocities. His writing has been notably published in America, and Keith Botsford in The Republic of Letters praised him for “an economy of style and narrative that all good readers will relish.”

(D.H., 01.02.2013)