While the US prepares for a Slovenian First Lady, here in the UK we were ahead of the game, with a new trio of novels from that lovely Alpine country, published this autumn by Peter Owen and Istros Books (World Series Slovenia). Two of the literary trio were in London and Bristol last week, for launch events of their novels: while Dušan Šarotar‘s poetic prose takes the reader on a meditative journey from Ireland to Bosnia, via Belgium and Slovenia in the aptly named Panorama, Three Loves, One Death by Evald Flisar deals with the trials and tribulations of a dysfunctional family seeking to enjoy new-found freedom in rural Slovenia. While the novels are very different in themselves, they both deal with themes of migration and the search for freedom; be that in the form of inner peace or familial harmony. As Rosie Goldsmith has mentioned on a couple of occasions: for a small country it is remarkable what great writers Slovenia has produced. Let us hope that it will be find a reputation now as a literary hob, rather than be blamed for the sins of its son-in-law!
By Susan Curtis-Kojakovic
Listen to Susan Curtis-Kojakovic of Istros Books talking to Dušan Šarotar and fellow poet Stephen Watts about migration, translation, and trying to find words which go beyond pictures.