Born in Zagreb, Zoran Pilić is a novelist, short-story writer and a poet. His first collection of short stories Doggiestyle (2007) was turned into a theatre play Sex, laži i jedan anđeo (Sex, Lies and One Angel) which was performed at the Zagreb Academy of Drama Arts in 2009. His second novel Đavli od papira (Paper Devils) was shortlisted for the prestigious Croatian literary award ‘Jutarnji list’ and listed as one of the best novels in 2012 by the Croatian Ministry of Culture. The Ministry listed Pilic’s collection of short stories Nema slonova u Meksiku (There Are No Elephants in Mexico) as one of the country’s best books again in 2014. His short story Kad su Divovi hodali zemljom (When Giants Walked the Earth) won the European Short Story Festival prize in 2015. He also writes book reviews and publishes fictional editorial on Booksa.hr.
Doggiestyle, a collection of urban short stories, is filled with naturalistic details. In a dynamic rhythm, the stories from this debutant book dive into places of intimacy, portray male friendships and wartime and post-war chaos in which both the body and soul get damaged. These stories take gory news headlines and form their plots around them. This is all done with a constantly present dark sense of humour and on a familiar social, war-time and transitional background.
This is a story of three friends who are all pushing their forties. They are childish, egocentric, narcissistic, irresponsible and sometimes even ruthlessly selfish. They’ve left behind them, in sum, one failed marriage and a ton of failed relationships. All in all, they are in the middle of a serious mid-life crisis.
Profil International, 2011, 374 pages
20-pages excerpt available in English
A dynamic plot, idiosyncratic characters and a book with a completely different feel to it, give us the right to assume that the Coen brothers’ cinematic characters have seemingly relocated to the pages of this book.
Fraktura, 2014, 176 pages
four stories available in English
There Are No Elephants in Mexico is a collection of short stories with beguiling dialogues and brilliantly weird characters that once again confirms Zoran Pilić is one of Croatia’s wittiest authors. Without a doubt, these stories will make us laugh but they’ll also subtly lead us to the other, dark side which can’t be seen from Earth and where we rarely dare to set our foot on.
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