Fox & American Fictionary

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Thu, 10/18/2018 - 11:00am to 12:00pm
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Fox & American Fictionary

 

Dubravka Ugresic, a novelist and essayist Susan Sontag called a "writer to follow and cherish," has been living in exile in Amsterdam since the Yugoslav wars of the early 90s.  Labeled a traitor and a witch when she vocally critiqued the rising ethno-nationalism of both Croatia and Serbia, she has become one of Europe's most vital contemporary writers.  In 2016 she won the Neustadt International Prize for Literature for her body of work, a prize whose past winners include such luminaries as Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Elizabeth Bishop and Kamau Brathwaite.  She joins David Naimon in the KBOO studios today to discuss her latest novel Fox and the revised and updated early essay collection American Fictionary.   Fox takes us from Russia to Japan, through Balkan minefields and American road trips, and from the 1920s to the present, as it explores the power of storytelling and literary invention, notions of betrayal, and the randomness of human lives and biographies.   American Fictionary was written in the midst of the Yugoslav wars of the early 1990s when Ugresic was invited to Middletown, Connecticut, as a guest lecturer. A world away from the brutal sieges of Sarajevo and the nationalist rhetoric of Miloševic, she instead has to cope with everyday life in America, where she’s assaulted by “strong personalities,” the cult of the body, endless amounts of jogging and exercise, bagels, and an obsession with public confession.

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