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Slovenian Book Agency’s Translation Tip for Foreign Publishers: Ivana before the sea by Veronika Simoniti

A beautiful novel about family secrets and three generations of Slovenian women during the turbulent 20th century. A masterpiece on 173 pages.

Veronika Simoniti (1967) began her career as an author of children’s books, first publishing her work on Radio Slovenia. Her first story collection, Zasukane Štorije (Twisted Stories) received Slovenia’s Best First Book of the Year award in 2005. In 2011 she published her second collection, Hudičev jezik (The Devil’s Tongue) and in 2014, her first novel, Kameno seme (The Stone Seed) which was shortlisted for the Kresnik Prize 2015 for the best Slovenian novel of the year. This year Cankarjeva založba published her second novel Ivana pred morjem (Ivana before the sea) and the critics love it.

In the novel the narrator returns from Paris, where she has created a home for herself, to the Primorje region in Slovenia in order to clear the apartment that belonged to her late mother for a serious buyer, and in a heap of yellowed photographs she finds a picture of her grandmother, holding her five-year-old mother’s hand, whilst her other hand lies on her pregnant belly. The year it was taken, 1943, was one of troubling events and rapid change. What happened to the unborn child? Through a number of parallel stories taking place at different times and generations of one family, Veronika Simoniti’s novel presents the reader with the collective past and individual fates. A beautiful novel about unpleasant times and things.

You can read a review from the web edition of the Slovenian national television here.

The novel is 173 pages long and an English sample translation is available.

For more info, please contact Mrs. Senja Požar, senior rights manager at Mladinska knjiga and Cankarjeva založba publishing houses: senja.pozar@mkz.si.