Nominated by:

Belgrade City Library, Serbia

City Library and Reading Room Herceg-Novi, Montenegro

Publisher of nominated edition:

Zavod, Serbia

The Five Wonders of the Danube

Zoran Živković    

Translated from the original Serbian by Alice Copple-Tosic

2013 Longlist

On five bridges over the Danube, five strange and remarkable tales are told: tales of the sacrifices that are made for Art. For the painter, the sculptor, the writer and the composer, creation is inextricably entwined with violence, suffering and the darkest reaches of the psyche, and the bridge to enlightenment is the hardest of all to cross. Yet through the innocence of a dog all can be redeemed, in the miraculous climax of this complex and exotic fable.

(From Author’s Website)

About the Author

Zoran Živković (pronounced ZHEEV-ko-vitch) was born in Belgrade, former Yugoslavia, in 1948. In 1973 he graduated from the Department of General Literature with the theory of literature, Faculty of Philology of the University of Belgrade; he received his master’s degree in 1979 and his doctorate in 1982 from the same school. He lives in Belgrade, Serbia, with his wife Mia, their twin sons Uroš and Andreja, their daughter-in-law Irena, and their three cats and a dog.

In 2007, Živković was made a professor in the Faculty of Philology at his alma mater, the University of Belgrade, where he now teaches Creative Writing. The author of twenty books of fiction and six books of nonfiction, Živković continues to push the boundaries of the strange and surreal. His writing belongs to the middle European fantastika tradition, and shares much in common with such masters as Mikhail Bulgakov, Franz Kafka and Stanislaw Lem.

Živković is one of the most-translated Serbian writers. At the end of 2010, sixty foreign editions of his prose had been published in twenty languages.

Librarians’ Comments

In The Five Wonders of the Danube Živković constructs multiple narratives around five imaginary bridges, each spans the Danube in a different city. Each is painted a single colour: black, yellow, red, white and blue, and each is a locus of other worldly forces that can manipulate reality as experienced by humans on or near it. The novel begins with a touch of satire and ends with rush of euphoria. But its soul lies between. Here dwell darkness and tragedy, but also hope and humanity, base materials Živković moulds into some of his most moving stories.

In The Five Wonders of the Danube Živković constructs multiple narratives around five imaginary Danube bridges. The novel begins with a touch of satire and ends with rush of Euphoria. Also hope and humanity, base materials Živković moulds into some of his most moving works.

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