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The Fly in the Atelier of Ivan Kožarić


How to introduce children to the world of a famous conceptual artist? The author of the text chose a character from the artist’s notebook, a little fly. Accidentally it enters the atelier – where all objects are wrapped in paper (the situation taken from real life). One by one they unwrap themselves for the little fly, telling and singing their stories. The illustrator creates the magical space of the atelier with highly original inventiveness, masterfully inserting citations of Kožarić’s works.


Book #3419

Six Walks of Slava Raškaj


This picture-book is the first within a series with which Mala zvona introduces works of great Croatian visual artists to children. The famous Croatian impressionist painter S. Raškaj was deaf – and very sensitive to nature. Therefore, the writer of this picture book chose to represent her life and work in six walks with easel in different surroundings: the garden of her childhood, parks in the city where she learned to paint, winter woods and summer meadows where she made her best pictures. The illustrator did not copy the style of watercolors made by S. Raškaj, but gave the adequate transparence and lightness to his own.


Book #3338



May Bug and Paper Boat


As a paper boat is floating carelessly on a city fountain, it is suddenly stirred by something that fell into it. The intruder turns out to be a cockchafer that couldn’t learn to fly. The two gentle creatures – the little boat that could so easily sink and the little bug that doesn’t fly – very quickly become inseparable friends. While floating on the fountain, they protect each other from little dangers and explore their surroundings that seem marvelous to them: balloons fly over their heads, people come to the fountain to toss coins into it and dream of luck, fireflies come to light up the night. And when real peril arises, it turns out that the little boat and the cockchafer have, along their way, already made friends who are ardent to save them. Sanja Lovrenčić thus creates a lyrical story about fragileness and the magic that resides in the world’s details which is accompanied by aquarelle illustrations of an almost minimalist quality by Mingsheng Pi.


Book #3334

Zagreb Childhood in the Sixties


Sanja Lovrenčić wrote the book of prose fragments entitled Zagreb Childhood in the Sixties while she was working on the translation of Walter Benjamin’s autobiographical Berlin Childhood around 1900,and her writing is therefore marked by an interesting duality. Zagreb Childhood functions as an autobiographical discourse and deals with the elements typical for that genre: introspection, sketches of the chosen period, a fine nostalgia for childhood, which an adult can reach only as a selection of fragments that can never be made into a coherent whole; those elements could be labelled as personal and local. On the other hand, however, the book is a response to a literary text, a reaction not to a childhood or a social change, but to a certain type of writing. This leads to a completely different set of ideas, that we might call inherently literary – intertextuality, the fictionalization of the self, the use of poetic language and lyrical fragments that simultaneously connote and transcend personal experience. Thus Zagreb Childhood combines two elements that are necessary to make a quality literature: inclusion in the local context, as well as its constant dissolution – both intimacy and universality.

Hanging Sheep-stealers, a novel


In this book of stories – with a subtitle: a novel – the author is playing with the science fiction genre, but hanging sheep-stealers is not a genre literature in the narrower sense of the term. Each of twenty texts of the book has a different narrative structure and is related to some problem of contemporary world, pushing chosen topics to possible or impossible extremes. So the obsession with eternal youth leads to the production of GMO people with a gene of snake, who change their skin every year but lose part of their memories in the process; the sudden loss of rare earth elements causes a major technological drawback; a solution for the recycling of plastic waste is achieved by the creation of copyrighted plastic-eating mutants; the idea of general participation in political power (“five minutes of power to everybody”) manifests itself as a travelling parliament-carousel with eight politically correct entrances; in the defrosted Arctic there is a war going on for the resources made attainable by the global warming etc.

All the stories are connected by the environment, a single imaginary world of not-too-distant future, but each has its separate setting and characters, with their interests, perceptions and – what is especially important – voices. The stories are often told through monologues and dialogues, from a somewhat distorted subjective perspective that constantly leaves open possibilities of another interpretation of things.

Out of the Atelier


New poetry collection by Sanja Lovrenčić.


still life: frozen begonias

brush captures the moment:
the stem still looks solid
ice in its heart makes it
apparently alive
while the sun is shining fervently
upon deep-frozen world

you see in the background:
someone left open
the veranda door
in the coldest night

malicious master painter in the picture
on a piece of auxiliary something
delivery box perhaps in which arrived
everything that’s crammed in the corner
is painting the rotting the gray the weary
plants as they will be
in only a few hours –

but not yet

Snakes of Nikonimor, Part III – Gates of Gold


The third part offantasy trilogy by Sanja Lovrenčić, written in the genre of alternate history, inspired by the Illyrian proper names and names of places.

In the final part of the saga about the flute player Tisya and palace-builder Arne all the individual stories started in the first two books come to an end. The ancient world is going through a sort of cataclysm, and the main characters finally get together after a long separation. They start a final quest for the “gates of gold”, because only those who get through it would be no longer in the power of time…

The Snakes of Nikonimor, Part II – The Way to the Sea


In the second part of the trilogy by Sanja Lovrenčić the separated lovers Tisya and Arne travel and go through various ordeals.

Tisya is consciously trying to reach the sea, the White Town, the only place from where the ships still sail to the North. But her journey is long, leading her through the wilderness of the Dividing Chain, where she sees, for the first time, Those-Who-Yell-Together. With the help of the salt trader Margan she arrives in the Stone Cells, where she has some strange experiences and then travels on, further down the Yalma coast, where fires of danger are already burning…

At the same time Arne is with the remnants of the northern army of King Gurna, struggling through dangerous underground paths, where the mirror-people Vodjani lurk with their mirages; he does not know that at the end of this road another shore awaits him…

The Snakes of Nikonimor, Part I – The Palace and the Garden


The fantastical world of the mountains of Nikonimor, the southern shores of Yalma and Svardija, the Empire of Quadrifolium, the northern parts of Letinen with its great river and mystical rites is revealed through the story of the lovers, Arne the palace-builder, and Tisya, the flute player. In the first part of the Nikonimor trilogy, Tisya and Arne, trapped by cold, separated by a wasteland and wilderness and the slowly approaching cataclysm of the known world, attempt to see each other through the waters of a mysterious lake, and try to remember everything that preceded the hard winter. But the world around them, especially that on the northern borders, is not still…