We are very sad to share the news that our dear friend and author, Daša Drndić, died last night in Rijeka. She was a bold and uncompromising writer, and a leading figure in Croatia and the former Yugoslavian countries, if not always popular in some circles for her highly critical and outspoken views on the politics of her own country.
Daša was born in Zagreb in 1946. She studied English Language and Literature at the University of Belgrade, and was later a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Southern Illinois, where she obtained a Masters in Theatre and Communications. After receiving her PhD, she taught at the University of Rijeka and worked in the drama department of Radio Belgrade, writing and producing radio plays. Over the course of her writing career, she produced novels, literary criticism, plays and translations, and was awarded the 2007 Fran Galović Prize and the 2014 Provart International Literary Prize.
MacLehose Press has published three of her books, Trieste (shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2013), Leica Format, and Belladonna, published last April and a finalist for the inaugural EBRD prize this year. We were delighted that Daša was able to be in London for the ceremony during the London Bookfair in April. Celia Hawkesworth’s translation of Belladonna is currently shortlisted for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, with the winner announced this Saturday 9th June. Daša’s last book, E.E.G., will be published by us in November. Her books have now been translated into 15 languages, with rights most recently sold to Portugal, the Netherlands and Norway.
As a person she was warm and full of life, with a sharp sense of humour and a good sense of fun. She had a huge circle of friends, and was generous about other writers. She had enormous integrity, which she transferred to her work.
All our thoughts are with Daša’s family, and her friends and readers around the world. We will miss her very much indeed.