“Everything Mirza thinks and writes, Nura thinks and writes. I am glad that the novel about such a horrifying tragedy was written with such innocence, purity and kindness.”

Nura Bazdulj-Hubijar about her novel When It Was July

Short synopsis:

This epistolary novel about Srebrenica When It Was July is a story about a boy named Mirza who writes letters to his dead father about the happenings in 1995 in the most unprotected secured zone in the modern world. Letters to his father are easily read as painfully precise letters addressed to the World, which enhance the impression of tragic human history.

The novel was written in the form of an inner monologue from the point of view of the main character that persistently uses the Eastern Bosnian dialect and persistently makes spelling mistakes, such as putting capital and lower case letters, full stops and commas in wrong places.

The extraordinary and touching story is told in an original language – a sort of a cross between Eastern Bosnian idioms and the storyteller’s private language. Without any frame of reference, the short novel When It Was July is unique in expression, emancipated from comparison, self-sufficient and inventive voice of Literature as the answer to the demons of the times and the world which it testifies.

Praise for When It Was July:

Mirza becomes the voice of the common man, the voice of people who were exposed to a tragic historical episode, a spokesman who can speak from his own experience, but also his own common sense, something like Krleža’s Petrica Kerempuh, only transformed and transported into a different, but equally brutal and cruel time.

Jagna Pogačnik, mvinfo.hr

These letters to the boy’s dead father about the happenings in 1995 in Srebrenica are actually easily read as painfully precise letters addressed to the World, which enhances the impression that human history is a history of slaughter.

Robert Bubalo, Večernji list Bosnia and Herzegovina

We are talking about shocking and dramatic prose work, which can hardly be compared to the prose patterns of describing events from history. It tells us about one of the most traumatic experiences of contemporary history in this part of the world. In spite of the seriousness of the topic and a load of moral life-related questions which arise while reading this novel, it is read in one breath and it wins the readers’ hearts.

Mirela Mengeš, Hrvatski vojnik

When It Was July is a novel about a collective trauma, and reader can feel the caring author invested while writing.

Robert Perišić, Globus

About the author:

Nura Bazdulj-Hubijar, born in 1951, is one of the most read and most profilic contemporary female authors from Bosnia and Herzegovina. Alongside her degree in medicine and employment as a doctor, her novels, stories and poems for children are included in school text books and obligatory school reading in the Bosnian language. Her works have been translated into German, English, Dutch, Norwegian, Hungarian and Slovak language. She has received numerous awards for her literary achievements and her work. Along with the Nobel Prize winner Ivo Andrić and other acclaimed writers such as Meša Selimović, Zuko Džumhur and Miljenko Jergović, she is one of the best-selling authors in this region.

Other works, selection: Rose / Ruža, 1990; Brothers / Braća, 1998; I Am So Sorry / Baš mi je žao, 1998; Amanet, 1999; The Sabre and the Feather / Sablja i pero, 2002; The Soul and the Flower / Duša i cvijet, 2003; The Age of Innocence / Doba nevinosti, 2008; Blue Van / Plavi kombi, 2009.

Awards, selection: Best novel award for I Am So Sorry by the Open Society Fund BIH-Soros Foundation in 1998; best drama award by Radio BIH for The Sabre and the Feather in 1999

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