Kristian Novak

Kristian Novak is a Croatian writer, linguist and associate professor at the University in Rijeka. Born in Germany as a son of Croatian migrant workers, he later spent his childhood and youth in a small village in Međimurje, in the northernmost part of Croatia. He graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. He was standard member of the Croatian karate national team from 1996 to 2009, winning a range of individual and team awards at national and global karate championships, including the title of European Vice-Champion in karate. His first novel The Hanged was published in 2005. Dark Mother Earth (2013), his second novel, won The Tportal prize for Croatian novel of the year and is hailed as one of the best Croatian novels in the last 50 years. The novel was adapted for the stage with great success. A film adaptation is in progress as well (with award-winning Slovenian director Rok Biček), with Novak as co-screenwriter. His third novel, Gypsy, But the Fairest of Them All (2016) won a second Tportal award, as well as two further prestigious national awards, Gjalski and Fran Galović. It was succesfully adapted for the stage as well (Croatian National Theater), and a television series based on the novel is in preparation. He is married, father of two children. He lives in Zagreb.

Author's titles

Dark Mother Earth

OceanMore, 2017, 296 pages
Complete English translation available

Translation rights sold: World rights (Amazon Crossing), excluding Germany

“Črna mati zemla” is a novel about Matija Dolenčec, a successful young writer struggling to overcome his creative and emotional block by reaching for his own, deeply repressed and forgotten story which was compensated by inventing all of his other stories. It’s a story about a personal journey from a bright, alienated, casual and urban place into one that is dark, intimate, essential and rural.

Gypsy, But the Fairest of Them All

OceanMore, 2016, 400 pages
Sample English and French translation available

Translation rights sold: Hungary (Metropolis Media), Norway (Cappelen Damm), Slovenia (Beletrina), Serbia (Književna radionica Rašić), Bulgaria (Paradox)
Option publisher: Amazon Crossing (WEL)
Film/TV rights sold to Antitalent

T-portal Best Novel Award
Ksaver Šandor Gjalski Award
Fran Galović Award

Gypsy, But the Fairest of Them All by Kristian Novak is strictly speaking a crime novel, with a central enigma of brutal murders of several Johns Doe – because victims without faces are hard to identify – and an overarching investigation. But don’t be too quick to label it, because this is a thriller as much as Crime and Punishment.