By Spomenka Štimec
Translated from the Esperanto by Sebastian Schulman
A unique, emotional account of a Croatian Esperanto activist trying to make sense of the collapse of language and landscape in former Yugoslavia.
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
Croatian War Nocturnal is a fictionalized memoir of the wars in former Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, told from the perspective of a Croatian Esperanto activist and teacher. Composed on an early machine-translation computer while the author hid in her bathroom during bomb raids, the book consists of short, interconnected episodes describing the daily traumas of war and genocide and their effect on life and family, memory and language. Told in a unique and elegant staccato style, it’s an emotional account of a woman trying to make sense of the seeming collapse of the two utopian projects that have framed her life—Yugoslavia and Esperanto. At turns somber and darkly witty, Croatian War Nocturnal is a work of enduring optimism, a cry for peace against violence and indifference.