Gordan Nuhanović

Gordan Nuhanović was born in 1968 in Vinkovci, Croatia. In the nineties he was war correspondent and journalist at Globus, Slobodna Dalmacija, Danas, and Jutarnji List. Currently he works as journalist and literary critic on Croatian National Television, but is also involved in other projects such as cultural and literary festivals, documentary screenplays, etc.


His work has been translated into English, German, Hungarian, and Czech. Gordan has also received the Society of Croatian Writers Nightingale Award and the Ivan Kozarac Award, and was listed among Jutarnji list’s top five works of fiction in 2001. His stories have been included in numerous literary journals in Croatia as well as in the United States (McSweeney’s and Gobshite Quarterly).


Published Books. Short Stories: Liga za opstanak/Survival League (Pop & Pop, 2001) in English as The Survival League (Ooligan Press, Portland, OR, USA, 2005), Bitka za svakog čovjeka / Battle for every man (AGM, 20013). Novels: Posljednji dani panka/The Last Days of Punk (Profil, 2006) and in Czech as Poslední dny punk (Big Ben, Prague, Czech Republic, 2009), Vjerojatno zauvijek /Probably Forever (Naklada Ljevak, 2009) and Agenti kulture/Agents of Culture (Algorithm, 2013). Travel stories: Šale su ostale kod kuće/All Jokes Aside, 2014).


Author Interview

What are your sources of inspiration?

In the past few years I’ve been travelling a lot through the ex-Soviet republics whose ambience is very inspiring for me. Otherwise, the source for my novels and short stories is everyday life.


What are you reading now? Do you read literature that has been translated from other languages or just Croatian books?

Mainly I read literature in translation. At the moment my focus is on the second and the third wave of the Russian literature in emigration–Joseph Brodsky, Vasily Aksyonov, Sergei Dovlatov and other great writers who lived and worked most of their life in the States.


What are you working on now?

I am finishing my second book of travel stories under the working title The Conqueror of the Baltics and Tundra. The first one, Jokes Aside, was really well accepted. One of the stories was published in the magazine McSweeney’s and I’ve been contacted by an American publisher who liked it very much and there is a chance that the book will be translated and published in the States.


Do you have any favorite English writer?

Of course. I am fond of the contemporary English novel and post-colonial literature. I like Orwell, Conrad, Koestler, Ballard… just to mention some of the greatest. The New Puritans and Will Self’s novel How the Dead Live were very well received by Croatian audiences.


What are some characteristics of Croatian writing today? What makes it unique?

At the turn of the millennium there was a boom of realistic prose in Croatia—mostly short stories influenced by Carver, but with the touch of Balkan humor and Slavic melancholy. Unfortunately, back then the idea of selling our literature to the West did not exist, but I believe that the Croatian short story could have become what, for example, today is new Romanian New Wave in cinema.