Olja Savičević

Olja Savičević (Split, 1974) is one of the best Croatian contemporary authors and a representative of the so called ‘lost generation’. She graduated from the Faculty of Humanities and Social Science in Zadar. Her first poetry collection was published when she was 14 years old, and since then, she published twelve works: six poetry collections, a short story collection, two novels and three picture books. Politically and socially engaged, Olja’s work has been included in a number of Croatian anthologies and international selections. Her writing has been translated into 11 languages: German, English, Spanish, Italian, Bulgarian, Dutch, Swedish, Macedonian, Slovenian, Hungarian and French, with excerpts of her prose and poetry translated and published into over 30 langagues world-wide. For her works, Olja received a number of coveted national, regional and international awards. In 2020, her novel Farewell, Cowboy was awarded the French award Prix du premiere for the best debut novel translated in French. Farewell, Cowboy was wonderfully received by readers as well: a great success in the region, the book was adapted into a stage play. Her second novel, Singer in the Night, received the British Pen Award. Her short stories collection To Make a Dog Laugh won the prize for best author under thirty-five awarded jointly by Vijenac. The poetry collection Mamasafari and Other Things was short-listed for the ‘Kiklop Award for Best Collection of 2012’, awarded annually by the Pula Book Fair. Reviews of Olja’s works have been published in the following newspapers and magazines: The Guardian, Le Monde Diplomatique, Berliner Zeitung, Die Zeit, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, La Republic, The Independent, The Irish Times, Corriere della Serra, The Atlantic, The Publisher Weekly, De Volkskrant, Jelenkor.

Author's titles

Farewell, Cowboy

Algoritam, November, 2010, 208 pages
Full English translation and French sample available

Translation rights sold: UK (Istros Books), USA (McSweeney’s), Italy (L’Asino d’oro edizioni), Germany (Voland&Quist), France (JC Lattes), Spain (Baila del Sol), Netherlands (Bananafish), Sweden (Gavrilo förlag), Serbia (Laguna), Slovenia (Littera), Bulgaria (Ergo Books), Hungary (Europa Kiado)

Winner of Prix du premier roman en littérature étrangère 2020
One of the 100 best Slavic Novels of All Time
Winner of T-Portal Award for best Croatian novel

Savičević playfully transposes the genre of a traditional Western drama onto the contemporary world, challenging the omnipotent heroes of childhood and questioning what constitutes heroism today. Her shabby seaside hometown provides the perfect backdrop for this tale of loss and redemption, redolent of transient glamour and unrealised small-town dreams.

Singer in the Night

Sandorf, May 2016, 152 pages
Full English and German translation available

Translation rights sold: UK (Istros Books), Italy (L’Asino d’oro edizioni), Germany (Voland&Quist), Serbia (LOM)

Winner of Pen English Award 2020

Singer in the Night is a rich, sensual novel which comments on perception, on how life is really lived – never objectively, never encompassing the whole truth, and yet no less real to us. In its final message, the novel gives a playful warning about the consequences of choosing banality – whether it be nationalism, vanity, or fame – over true human connection.

Summers with Maria

Fraktura, Sep 2022, 176 pages
French sample available

Translation rights sold: Serbia (Booka)

Drenched in the Mediterranean sun, Summers with Maria is an auto-fictional history of five generations of women, in the vein of Ginzburg’ Family Lexicon and Munro’s Lives of Girls and Women.