Post War Croatian Culture 101
Once described as a “war-torn nation” by the press, Croatia has risen above the stereotype in the past decade. The Croatian War of Independence lasted much of the 90s, and much growth has occurred since. This July marks the third anniversary of this young country joining the European Union; their membership contested by nearly half of all Croatian citizens, who still remember the cost of independence.
In this course, we will examine the effects of the war, and how it informs the present. How does the past affect the ways this new nation grapples with the future? What struggles do people have in light of their country’s past? This reading list will offer the class participant a glimpse into the lives of Croatians and how they relate to their new place in the European landscape.
Adios, Cowboy by Olga Savicevic (novel)
The past haunts a contemporary family. Written by one of Croatia’s “lost generation” poets.
Our Man in Iraq by Robert Perišic (novel)
Characters trying to reconcile war memories with the present.
Croatia: A Nation Forged in War by Marcus Tanner
A bit of history and background always aids cultural understanding.
Infidelities: Stories of War by Josip Novakovic (short story collection)
Spanning a broad width of time, these stories illustrate the political is personal.
How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed by Slavenka Drakulic (essays)
A Wonderful Night in Split, dir. Arsen Anton Ostgić (2004)
People from different walks of life turn to drugs and self-medication, trying their best to get by.
The High Sun, dir. Dalibor Matanić (2015)
The first Croatian film to be screened at Cannes since the country’s independence in 1991. Follows three romances over three decades.
The Museum of Broken Relationships, Cirilometodska 2, Zagreb
Natali Petricic is a former PEN USA Emerging Voices Fellow and PEN USA Mark program participant. Her stories have appeared in Santa Monica Review, Rosebud and Red Wheelbarrow, and the anthology Strange Cargo. Natali is currently working on The Shipwrights, a novel. She lives in Altadena, California with her husband and son.