“All I know is how to write. I use that talent of mine in a few ways: I write for newspapers,I write drama and prose, I work as a dramaturge as well. If you appreciate your work, as I do, being a full time writer isn’t easy – you have to testify to the worth of a drama, novel or the process of writing a play. On the other hand, it is a great privilege to live from something you truly love and to be able to make your own schedule.”

Davor Špišić about being a full time writer

Short synopsis:

An Offering (Koljivo), meaning boiled and sweetened wheat with walnuts served for orthodox customs, is a story about an immigrant from former Yugoslavia who finds refuge in Sweden at the beginning of the war. The main character, a washed up actor Radovan Pintar starts a new life in new surroundings – he gets married to an Iranian doctor and has a son, but he also loses jobs, patience and hope at an enormous speed. The events that follow are intertwined with both humor and depression, and skillfully woven in a composition with the descriptions of the main character’s past, i.e. the past of his extended family, which embellishes the core of the story in a special way, by unobtrusively profiling the unusual personality of the main character who cannot escape from evil no matter how much he runs.

Written in the manner of Stephen King’s best suspense novels, dynamically and fluidly written, at the same time referring to the newly relevant tradition of the family novel, which the motto of the novel can testify to, since it was taken from Corrections by Jonathan Franzen, the novel An Offering in a peculiar combination of sarcasm and melodrama depicts a destroyed life of a member of an Eastern European ethnic group in far away and strange surroundings.

Praise for An Offering:

An Offering is interesting primarily because it is an unusual mixture of a family novel which is made from fragments, a horror atmosphere and the story of an individual predestined for doom and evil which makes this novel different from all recent production. Špišić’s strongpoint is his experience in drama writing: good dialogues which give the whole novel a screenplay potential, the dynamics of the novel and successful editing of the time and space between episodes.

Jagna Pogačnik, Jutarnji list

An Offering intertwines genre clichés (and inscriptions) with the demanding complex of the many convoluted complexities of the (im)possibility of living in the Balkans, as well as Europe and among people (mostly demons and zombies) in a more general sense. All of this is dominated by Špišić’s very specific and ambitious sentences that draw their legitimacy from the aesthetics of ugliness and exaggeration to the point of caricature, as well as the artist’s right to shock and provoke the average taste.

Igor Gajin, Osječki dom

Using the conventions of horror as an external symbolic frame, the traditions of the family saga, and cuts in space and time put into composition, the author manages to faithfully portray a depressive and chaotic family that serves as a metaphor for the wider context of multinational and multicultural fates and traditions. The demons Špišić describes or hints at are not mere literary props, but universal symbols of evil created or awaken by people in every period and in every space. This is an exciting story that navigates its way between the tragic and the grotesque, told convincingly; this is a story that concerns us.

Strahimir Primorac, Večernji list

An Offering is a local story with universal flavour that leaves no room for retreat. Osijek and Stockholm, the Balkans and Scandinavia are transformed into a stage that echoes with tones of a requiem, enveloped in a cloud of dim and perverted memories.

Zdravko Zima, Novi list

About the author:

Davor Špišić was born in Osijek in 1961, where he still lives and works, as a professional writer, primarily a dramatist. His many dramas have been published in books Foreplays, A Heaven Without Lights Off and Berlin, Charlie. He also writes children’s theatre plays.

Other works: Slavonian Blood, co-signed with Dario Topić / Slavonska krv, 1992; Taking the Smell Off /Svlačenje smrada, 1994; Ventriloquists / Trbuhozborci, 1997; Hooks for Hams / Kuke za šunke, 2001; Samovar / Samovar, 2001; An Offering / Koljivo, 2004; Dancing with the Bride / Ples s mladom, 2006

Awards, selection: The Marin Držić Award (third place) for the drama South 2 / Jug 2, 2001; The Marin Držić Award (first place) for the drama Alabama,  2008; The Award for Best New Drama, National Theatre in Subotica, 2010

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