Will Firth, a translator from Russian, Serbo-Croatian, and Macedonian, has posted “10 Books by Women We’d Like to See Translated: Balkan Edition.” I love this sort of thing, and the books sound interesting; two that particularly struck my fancy:
Hodler en Mostar (Hodler in Mostar), Spomenka Štimec (Edistudio, 2006)
This historical novel is partly about the Swiss painter Ferdinand Hodler but rather more about his model of many years’ standing, Jeanne Charles Cerani. After the two part ways, Jeanne marries a Bosnian soldier wounded in WWI, who later joins the Yugoslav diplomatic service. A collection of Hodler’s paintings follows Jeanne and her husband on their many postings and finally ends up in Mostar. A union of two quite different worlds.
Gospođa Black (Mrs Black), Olja Knežević (Vijesti, 2015)
Written as a first-person report, the author’s second “London novel” is about a woman from Montenegro who marries a somewhat older Englishman and grafts herself into British society. Just when she feels she has comfortably adapted, ghosts of the past catch up with her. An interesting look at the problems of women in society amplified by the jarring contrast of a wealthy, stable country and a country from the underbelly of Europe.