Daša Drndic - Belladonna - Quercus

Belladonna

By Daša Drndic

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A timely parable on the perils of growing old and infirm in an unforgiving modern world - by the author of the acclaimed Trieste

"Belladonna is brutal, beautiful, and unforgettable . . . One of the truly outstanding novels of recent years" EILEEN BATTERSBY, Los Angeles Review of Books

Now shortlisted for the inaugural E.B.R.D. Prize for literature - an excoriating work of fiction that references the twentieth century's darkest hours

Andreas Ban is a writer and a psychologist, an intellectual proper, but his world has been falling apart for years. When he retires with a miserable pension and finds out that he is ill, he gains a new perspective on the debris of his life and the lives of his friends. In defying illness and old age, Andreas Ban is cynical and powerful, and in his unravelling of his own past and the lives of others, he uncompromisingly lays bare a gamut of taboos.

Andreas Ban stands for a true hero of our times; a castaway intellectual of a society which subdues every critical thought under the guise of political correctness. Belladonna addresses some of the twentieth century's worst human atrocities in a powerful fusion of fiction and reality, the hallmark of one of Europe's finest contemporary writers.

Translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth

Biographical Notes

Dasa Drndic is a distinguished Croatian novelist, playwright and literary critic, author of radio plays and documentaries. She is the author of Trieste (2012) and Leica Format (2015). Trieste was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2013, and has now been translated into many languages.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9780857054340
  • Publication date: 20 Apr 2017
  • Page count:
  • Imprint: MacLehose Press
You read this generous, angry, and candid novel of ideas in a continuing state of wondrous disquiet . . . Belladonna is brutal, beautiful, and unforgettable. Dasa Drndic achieves her mission, proving that silence cannot erase the past. Memory stalks us, and always triumphs — Eileen Battersby, Los Angeles Review of Books
This book is literature with a capital L and Drndic is a miracle maker conjuring some optimism from despair and charm amid the grisly — M. Bartley Seigal, Words Without Borders
Drndic stares directly into the inky sins of us all and doesn't blink. Belladonna is a thrilling book. Unforgettable in the seamless way the author combines the real world and the fictional until it no longer matters because, in the end, all of it is the truth. — Mark Haber, Quarterly Conversation
A very fine novel, wise and brave. Her fiction is very powerful statement fiction, and yet somehow the quality, the humanity, the playfulness actually counters the polemical intent. This is an extraordinary book. — Eileen Battersby, Irish Times
This panoramic work by Drndic is less a novel than a life's worth of reminiscences annotated with photographs and copious footnotes, reminiscent of the works of Aleksandar Hemon and W.G. Sebald . . . This work may well be the national novel of Croatia. — Publishers Weekly.
A pensive, provocative novel of history, memory, and our endlessly blood-soaked times by one of the foremost writers to have emerged from the former Yugoslavia . . . An elegant novel of ideas concerning decidedly inelegant topics, empathetic but unforgiving. — Kirkus Reviews
The novel is multi-faceted, sharp, surprising, darkly and grimly hilarious, relevant to our times, and possesses limitless depth. It also bristles with intelligence and defiance in every paragraph, like an exceptionally erudite and alert porcupine. Belladonna deserves major awards consideration — Jeff Vandermeer, The Millions
Its own language compelling, open-ended notwithstanding its apocalyptic images, Belladonna resembles a prose Waste Land, an X-ray of our culture, Ban's fragments, like Eliot's, shored against the ruins of our age. — Michele Levy, World Literature Today
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Award-winning journalist Anders Roslund and ex-criminal Börge Hellström are Sweden's most acclaimed fiction duo. Their unique ability to combine inside knowledge of the brutal reality of criminal life with searing social criticism in complex, intelligent plots has put them at the forefront of modern Scandinavian crime writing.

Anna Bell

Anna Bell currently writes the weekly column 'The Secret Dreamworld of An Aspiring Author' on the website Novelicious. She is a full-time writer and loves nothing more than going for walks with her husband and Labrador.

Damien Lewis

Damien Lewis has spent twenty years reporting from war, disaster and conflict zones around the world. He has written a dozen non-fiction and fiction books, topping bestseller lists worldwide, and is published in some thirty languages. Two of his books are being made into feature films.

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Dan Smith grew up following his parents across the world to Africa, Indonesia and Brazil. He has been writing short stories for as long as he can remember and has been published in the anthology MATTER 4, shortlisted for the Royal Literary Fund mentor scheme, the Northern Writers Awards, the 2010 Brit Writers Published Author of the Year award and the Authors' Club First Novel award. He lives in Newcastle with his family. Find out more at www.dansmithsbooks.com.

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Derek Robinson, the son of a policeman, read history at Cambridge before working in advertising in London and New York. His novel Goshawk Squadron was shortlisted for the Booker Prize in 1971.

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