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Drago Jančar

Biography

Drago Jančar (1948) might well be Slovenia's best known contemporary fiction writer, both in his own country and abroad. As a freelance journalist Jančar repeatedly fell foul of the communist regime, and although early in his career he was not allowed to publish his works, after the gradual liberalisation in the late 1970s he was able to work as a screenwriter and playwright. In the 1980s he gained initial success in Yugoslavia with his novels, short stories and plays. A highly influential public intellectual as well as a writer of fiction, journalism and essays, he served as president of the Slovene PEN Centre between 1987 and 1991 and was a strong advocate of a new, democratic Slovenia.
Jančar's plays are regularly performed and his work has been translated in over twenty languages. His work is often inspired by modernist writing, a recurrent theme is the conflict between individuals and uncontrollable oppressive forces. English editions include Mocking Desire (1998), Northern Lights (2001) and The Prophecy and Other Stories (2009) with Northwestern University Press and Joyce's Pupil (short stories, 2006) with Brandon Publishing. Forthcoming is The Galley Slave (2012), to be published by Dalkey Archive Press who included one of Jančar's stories in their Best European Fiction 2011 collection.
The author has received several awards, including Slovenia's most prestigious Prešeren Award, the European Short Story Award (Augsburg, 1994) and the Herder Prize for literature in 2003. Since 1995, Jančar has been a member of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.

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