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Author(s): Iva Ušćumlić
Subject(s): Language and Literature Studies, Literary Texts, Fiction, Studies of Literature, Novel, Croatian Literature
Published by: Durieux
Keywords: novel; crime fiction; adultery; missing person; murder; nature of love;
Summary/Abstract: The novel Swelter by Iva Ušćumlić, who has shown her remarkable skills with her first novel Ghosts, provides an atmospheric picture of a hot summer in Zagreb, when a woman goes missing, and of the lives of her family that turn into a nightmare. Although the mystery of the missing woman is in the foreground of the story, we cannot classify this book as a crime fiction only. The crime plot intertwines with the inner life of the protagonists, and with an analysis of one love. The text eventually evolves into a metaphysical questioning of that most important of all feelings: what does it consist of, what triggers it, what ends it. As opposed to many other hybrid texts, this novel has no visible seams where the elements of pulp and highbrow literature meet. The narration glides so easily it is difficult to separate the crime story from the metaphysical questions. It all merges into one homogeneous, compact discourse without fissures. The narrator analeptically plays with the plot and the story, with the “now” and “then”, constructing a story that becomes more interesting, real and familiar with each page. The plot that is wedged into a few hot months actually stretches across thirty years, creating a perfect mosaic. Iva Ušćumlić was born in 1977 in Zagreb. She is an author of the highly praised novels Ghosts (2013) and Swelter (2017). She started her career as a journalist. Today the creates various stories, each adapted to its medium, from copywriting in the marketing industry, essays and books, and socially engaged flash fiction, to notes on social networks. The sharp and witty notes brought her on the prestigious list of the biggest influencers on the Balkans. This multitalented author is a passionate photographer, and her photography is, as her writing, very intimate. Both her writing and photography possess a peculiar style, and sophisticated sense of rhythm. Ušćumlić is known for her ad hoc essays where she reinterprets apparently ordinary everyday scenes in an original way that encourages thinking and discussion.

  • Print-ISBN-13: 978-953-188-441-9
  • Page Count: 304
  • Publication Year: 2017
  • Language: Croatian