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Dzanc Books is nonprofit press specializing in literary fiction and nonfiction. In addition to publishing activities, Dzanc Books also supports the Disquiet International Literary Program.

Heritage of Smoke by Josip Novakovich

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Heritage of Smoke by Josip Novakovich


Heritage of Smoke by Josip Novakovich


Publication Date: January 2017
Paperback: 240 pages
ISBN: 978-1-941088-66-1
Product Not Yet Released
Orders ship in January

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Short story writer, novelist, and essayist Josip Novakovich returns with his first collection of stories since being named a finalist for the 2013 Man Booker International Prize. In Heritage of Smoke, he explores the major themes of emigration and culture clash, war and exile, and religiosity and existentialism that have defined his fiction and earned him the American Book Award and Whiting Writer’s Award, as well as praise from Kirkus Reviews as “one of the best short-story writers of the decade.” With dry humor and world-weary wisdom, Novakovich explores the sorrows and absurdities of the wars in Bosnia and Croatia, constructing a bravely intelligent mosaic of what it means to be torn from one’s country and one’s self.

Praise for Heritage of Smoke:

“A host of characters grapple with the legacy of war, religious obsessions, surreal instances of violence, and an enduring guilt…. These often haunting stories of violence, faith, and disconnection make for a memorable voyage into a number of unsettled minds.”
Kirkus Reviews
“Josip Novakovich’s bruising and beautiful short stories cast new light on the experience of war and exile. A potent and intoxicating brew of comedy and tragedy. Heritage of Smoke is an exquisite work of short fiction by a master of the form.”
—Laila Lalami, author of The Moor's Account
“Some grim historical realities haunt many of the stories in this extraordinary collection. Sometimes with dark humor but always with an understanding eye toward his characters, Novakovich illuminates darkness more humanely than any writer since Chekhov.”
—Jim Heynen, author of The Boys' House and Fishing for Chickens
“In the visionary prose of Josip Novakovich, the Balkans are a toxic mix of medieval primitiveness and modern technology. Novakovich tells stories of individuals suffering against this background of regional catastrophe. He reveals reveal the worst things people can do to each other in the absolutely best way.”
—Melvin Jules Bukiet, author of Strange Fire and Undertown