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CATCH THE RABBIT (working title)

Lana Bastasic

  • Original Title: UHVATI ZECA
  • Publication date: September 2018
  • Publisher: KONTRAST IZDAVAŠTVO
  • Country: RS
  • 209 print pages
  • Road Movie

Information

  • Epoch: Contemporary
  • Time Period: 21st century
  • Location setting: Ireland, Serbia
  • Themes: FAMILY, Siblings, Mourning, PEOPLE facing life, Identity crisis, Looking back on one's life, Death, Facing failure, PEOPLE facing the extraordinary, Rivalry, SOCIETY DYSFUNCTIONS, Inequality, Racism, Discriminations, War and other conflicts, SOCIAL CHRONICLES, Multiculturalism, Friendship, LOVE / HATE, Amorous urge

Pitch

The story of two Bosnian women – Sara and Lejla – and their complicated friendship. Although they haven’t spoken to one another for twelve years, Sara flies all the way from Dublin to Mostar to give Lejla a lift to Vienna, and help her find her lost brother.

Comments

Translation rights sold: World English, Hungary, Catalonia, World Spanish, Germany, Italy, Netherlands, France, Slovenia.

In Serbia the book is already on its second reprint and it was shortlisted for the NIN Award, one of the best literary awards in Serbia.

Shortlisted for the NIN Award
Awarded the European Union Prize for Literature 2020.

Debut novel

Lana Bastasic is a Yugoslav-born writer. Her short stories have been included in major regional anthologies throughout former Yugoslavia. She won the Best Short Story Award at the ‘Zija Dizdarević’ competition in Fojnica, Bosnia (years 2010 and 2011); the Jury Award at the ‘Carver: Where I’m Calling From’ festival in Podgorica, Montenegro (2010); the Best Short Story Award at the ‘Ulaznica’ festival in Zrenjanin, Serbia (2010); Best Play by a Bosnian Playwright Award at the competition organized by Kamerni teatar 55 in Sarajevo (2013) and Targa UNESCO Prize for poetry at the Castello di Duino festival in Trieste, Italy (2013).

Summary

On its surface, CATCH THE RABBIT is a story about two Bosnian women and their complicated friendship, structured as a Balkanic mirror to Lewis Carroll's ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND.

Twelve years after they last saw each other, Sara receives a phone call from Lejla and decides to go on a road trip from Mostar to Vienna in order to find Armin, Lejla's long lost brother. But the journey would prove to be much more than an innocuous reconnecting of old school friends: it is a road to a deeply balkanized "heart of darkness", where Lejla's life was reshaped by strict identity politics and her sense of self was lost together with a single letter from her name.

Growing up in a Serbian family, Sara has had all the privileges denied to her best friend and has managed to repress her guilt together with her mother tongue. Now, years later, she has to go down the "rabbit hole" of her language and bear the Colridgean burden of telling the story over and over again. But being the one who tells the story is yet another privilege and Lejla will fight for it until the very last sentence, which will only take them back to the beginning.


Reports available
English translation available

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  • Author’s biography

    Lana Bastasic is a Yugoslav-born writer. She studied English Language and Literature and holds an MA degree in Cultural Studies. She has published two collections of short stories and one of poetry. UHVATI ZECA (Catch the Rabbit) is her Serbo-Croatian language first novel. Her short stories have been included in major regional anthologies throughout former Yugoslavia. She won the Best Short Story Award at the ‘Zija Dizdarević’ competition in Fojnica, Bosnia (years 2010 and 2011); the Jury Award at the ‘Carver: Where I’m Calling From’ festival in Podgorica, Montenegro (2010); the Best Short Story Award at the ‘Ulaznica’ festival in Zrenjanin, Serbia (2010); Best Play by a Bosnian Playwright Award at the competition organized by Kamerni teatar 55 in Sarajevo (2013) and Targa UNESCO Prize for poetry at the Castello di Duino festival in Trieste, Italy (2013). She is of Serbian culture, was born in Croatia, emigrated to Bosnia as a child, was a refugee in Ireland after the war and currently lives in Barcelona.