Made in Croatia

English Translation of a Book by Kristian Novak Sold on Amazon

By 15 January 2020

Kristian Novak is one of the most influential young Croatian novelists, and today it was made public that the English translation of one of his books, "Dark Mother Earth" can be purchased on Amazon.

Kristian Novak's first novel, Obješeni  (The Hanged) was published in 2005, but his first real success came in 2013 when he published his second novel, Črna mati zemla  (Dark Mother Earth). His second novel won numerous prizes, including tportal's prize for the best novel of the year in Croatia. It's often said that Črna mati zemla is one of the best Croatian novels of all time, and it has since been successfully adapted for stage, and a film adaptation is in progress. His third novel, Ciganin, ali najljepši  (Gypsy, But the Fairest of Them All) has repeated the success of its predecessor, as it has won numerous awards, has been adapted for the stage, a TV series is in production and it has been translated into several foreign languages.

The OceanMore publishing company, which published Dark Mother Earth and Gypsy, But the Fairest of Them All in Croatia, reported that the English translation of Dark Mother Earth can be purchased on Amazon. It is published by Amazon Crossing, the leading publisher of translated books in the US. Their mission is to publish award-winning and bestselling books from around the globe, written in languages other than English, making international literature accessible to many readers in the US (and to those who read in English) for the first time. Not only was the novel published by them, but it also made the front page of their website, as shown in the photo above. The novel was translated to English by Ellen Elias-Bursać, a world-renowned translator of South Slavic literature to English, who has translated many books by Dubravka Ugrešić and Slavenka Drakulić.  

The book is also available as an audiobook, with Will Damron as the narrator.

Kristian Novak's literary agency describes Dark Mother Earth as a crime/horror novel about Matija Dolenčec, a successful young writer struggling to overcome his creative and emotional block by reaching for his own, deeply repressed and forgotten story which was compensated by inventing all of his other stories. It’s a story about a personal journey from a bright, alienated, casual and urban place into one that is dark, intimate, essential and rural.

Matija’s suppressed memories slowly reveal the traumatic story of his childhood in a village in a rural region of Northern Croatia, of his father’s tragic death and eight mysterious suicides, of two demons haunting him, the loss of a friend, great myths and local legends, the historic turmoil of the nineties, everyday lies, guilt, cruelty, loneliness and love.