Nada Crnogorac

Nada Crnogorac was born in Županja, Croatia in 1952 and currently lives in Bjelovar. She holds a degree in Croatian language and literature and has worked as a Croatian teacher. Her stories and poetry have been broadcast on the Croatian Radio and published in Večernji list (Croatian daily), Zarez (biweekly), as well as in the following magazines: Poezija, Quorum, Ulaznica (Zrenjanin, Serbia), Balkanski književni glasnik, and Knjigomat.


Her writing was featured in Izvan koridora–a collection of the best short stories selected for the 2012 VRANAC literary competition held in Podgorica, Montenegro. In 2013 she won the first place for best short story at the VRANAC Literary Festival (Podgorica, Montenegro) and took part in the 6th edition of Novosarajevski književni susreti (Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina). In 2013 she also was commended for her poetry at the anonymous literary contest organized by the Ulaznica literary magazine in Zrenjanin, Serbia. In 2014 her work was shortlisted for the TookBook Storytelling short story competition held in Zagreb and the Samobor Public Library in Samobor, Croatia included her work in the top twenty stories at its short story competition.


Published Books. Poetry: Otvorena vrata/An Open Door (Prosvjeta, Bjelovar, Croatia).


Author Interview

What are your sources of inspiration?

A major source of my inspiration to write is a certain feeling of injustice triggered by what happens around me, something I have seen, something I have been observing for quite some time, something I have been listening to intentionally or heard by accident. Scenes from everyday life, communication problems, singularities of human character, social problems, my life at work and within my family, life that draws my eyes on victims, on the weaker ones. Sometimes it's just one word that leads to a whole story.    


Describe your creative process.

I always carry a little notebook or notepad with me and write down all the words, sentences, or ideas that come to mind. Should my bag be without a notebook, a supermarket receipt will do. I copy the whole of the text in a larger notebook, following the thoughts swirling in my mind, and then copy it all into my computer. I read through the text and correct it several times. I am in search of better words, more original imagery, the language of poetry. I let it rest for a while, with my thoughts constantly running back to it, thinking of possible amendments or changes, which I write down. When I grow tired of all this constant embellishment, I just leave it as it is. Sometimes the whole process is shorter, faster, and more simple. There are no rules, I would say.  


Where do you write? Do you have any writing rituals?

I mostly write at my desk in the living room and have no rituals. I am sometimes disturbed by the slightest distraction so I wait for absolute silence, other times you see me writing in the middle of the worst possible household racket. 


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

I am currently reading W. G. Sebald's The Rings of Saturn (I adore this writer.) and Possession: a Romance by A. S. Byatt (for the second time). I mostly read translations of foreign authors, just rarely Croatian literature.


What are you working on now?

I am currently finishing a short story.


Do you have a favorite English writer?

My favorite English writer is Julian Barnes.


Which Croatian writers or books do you think should be available in English?

First and foremost, I think Daša Drndić's books should be available in English. Her novel Sonnenschein has already been translated into English (as Trieste). Also, I would like to see the English translations of short stories by Roman Simić, the novel Adio, kauboju by Olja Savičević Ivančević, and Črna mati zemla by Kristian Novak.


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

Croatian literature comes from a small nation and a small language. Its uniqueness lies in its ability to rise from its particularities up to the sphere of the general, from its local folklore up to the general world picture, raising its critical voice in an effort to fix what is wrong and to create a better world.