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Dubravka Ugrešić

Croatian writer (1949–2023)

Dubravka Ugrešić is ...


Born 27 March 1949 in Kutina
Died 17 March 2023 in Amsterdam
Age 73 years

Sex or gender female
Country of citizenship Federal People's Republic of Yugoslavia, Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia
Occupation translator, novelist, children's writer, non-fiction writer, university teacher, writer, resistance fighter, screenwriter and essayist
Awards NIN Prize, Meša Selimović Prize, Heinrich Mann Prize, Prix Européen de l'Essai Charles Veillon, Preis der SWR-Bestenliste, Verzetsprijs van de Stichting Kunstenaarsverzet, Otherwise Award, Jean Améry award, Austrian State Prize for European Literature, Manès-Sperber-Preis, Neustadt International Prize for Literature and City of Zagreb Award
Educated at International Writing Program and University of Zagreb

About Dubravka Ugrešić

Dubravka Ugrešić is a Croatian writer who has made a name for herself as a fierce critic of the political and cultural establishment in her home country. Born on March 27, 1949, in the town of Kutina, Ugrešić studied comparative literature at the University of Zagreb before embarking on a career as a writer.

Ugrešić's early work was marked by a playful, experimental style that drew on the traditions of Eastern European literature. Her first novel, "Steffie Speck in the Jaws of Life," was published in 1981 and won critical acclaim for its inventive use of language and structure.

However, Ugrešić's career took a dramatic turn in the 1990s, when she became a vocal critic of the nationalist politics that were sweeping through Croatia and other parts of the former Yugoslavia. In her essays and nonfiction works, Ugrešić attacked the government's efforts to promote a narrow, exclusionary vision of Croatian identity, arguing that it was based on a false and dangerous myth of ethnic purity.

Ugrešić's outspokenness made her a target of harassment and intimidation by nationalist groups, and in 1993 she was forced to flee Croatia and seek asylum in the Netherlands. Since then, she has continued to write and publish, both in Croatian and in Dutch, and has become a leading voice in the international literary community.

Ugrešić's work has been widely translated and has won numerous awards, including the Neustadt International Prize for Literature in 2016. Her most recent book, "Fox," was published in 2017 and has been praised for its sharp, satirical take on contemporary politics and culture.

Despite the challenges she has faced, Ugrešić remains committed to using her writing to challenge the status quo and to promote a more inclusive, open-minded vision of society. As she wrote in a 2016 essay for The Guardian, "I believe that literature can help us to see beyond the narrow confines of our own experience, to imagine new possibilities, and to connect with others in ways that transcend the boundaries of race, nationality, and ideology."


- "Dubravka Ugrešić: 'I am a writer who has been exiled twice'" The Guardian, 2016

- "Dubravka Ugrešić: The Art of Exile" The New Yorker, 2016

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