LIC: Dubravka Ugresic on American Fictionary
Join Book Culture LIC and Open Letter Press on Saturday, September 15th at 7pm for an event with author Dubravka Ugresic, on her newest book American Fictionary. Dubravka will be in discussion with author Nina Herzog. This event is a part of Bookends for the Brooklyn Book Festival.
Winner of the 2016 Neustadt International Prize for Literature
In the midst of the Yugoslav wars of the early 1990s, Dubravka Ugresic—winner of the 2016 Neustadt International Prize for Literature—was invited to Middletown, Connecticut, as a guest lecturer. A world away from the brutal sieges of Sarajevo and the nationalist rhetoric of Miloševic, she instead has to cope with everyday life in America, where she’s assaulted by “strong personalities,” the cult of the body, endless amounts of jogging and exercise, bagels, and an obsession with public confession.
Organized as a fictional dictionary, these early essays of Ugresic’s (revised and amended for this edition) are as pertinent to today’s America as when they were first published. It’s here, in these pieces filled with Ugresic’s unparalleled wit and devastating observations, that the comforting veil of Western consumerism is ripped apart as the mundane luxuries of the average citizen are contrasted with the life of a woman whose country is being destroyed.
Translated from the Croatian by Celia Hawkesworth & Ellen Elias-Bursać
THIS IS AN OFFICIAL 2018 BROOKLYN BOOK FESTIVAL EVENT
Dubravka Ugresic is the author of seven works of fiction, including The Museum of Unconditional Surrender and Baba Yaga Laid an Egg, along with six collections of essays, including Thank You for Not Readingand Karaoke Culture, a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Nonfiction. She has won, or been shorlisted for, more than a dozen prizes, including the NIN Award, Austrian State Prize for European Literature, Heinrich Mann Prize, Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, Man Booker International Prize, and the James Tiptree Jr. Award. In 2016, she received the Neustadt International Prize for Literature (the “American Nobel”) for her body of work.
Born in Zagreb, Nina Herzog has written on former-Yugo writers for Words without Borders since 2010, contributing both reviews and interviews. She edited the International Issue of Global City Review, has been awarded various writing residencies and has published both fiction and nonfiction. She received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and is currently working on a piece on Dubravka Ugresic for Tin House Magazine.