What is the best-known book set in Croatia?

See note on methodology

Sorry, Croatian friends, but there is a very clear winner and I’m not sure that you are going to like it. Although the book starts in Syria, and ends in Trieste, most of it is set in a snowdrift outside Vinkovci in which various personal dramas, some based on the then-recent Lindbergh kidnapping, are played out without much reference to the surrounding topography. This book has been invoked explicitly in two different Doctor Who stories. Published in 1934 by the best-known British crime writer of the twentieth century, and famously adapted for the screen in 1974, it is:

Murder on the Orient Express, by Agatha Christie

The book most tagged “Croatia” on LibraryThing, which also does well by ownership on GoodReads, is about an Englishwoman moving to the country and finding herself emotionally engaging with the aftermath of the recent war, by a Scottish writer whose roots are actually in Sierra Leone. Published to wide acclaim in 2013, it is:

The Hired Man, by Aminatta Forna

The most frequently tagged “Croatia” on Goodreads is unfortunately set outside Croatia – it is precisely a story of exile and dislocation, mainly set in Berlin. It is:

Muzej bezuvjetne predaje / The Museum of Unconditional Surrender, by Dubravka Ugrešić

Bubbling under: Slavenka Drakulić, various travleogues

One thought on “What is the best-known book set in Croatia?

  1. I’ve been justly overlooked because I was watching Euro 2013 instead of writing up my votes. 🙂

    Best Novel: 1) Captain Vorpatril’s Alliance, 2) Throne of the Crescent Moon, 3) 2312, 4) Redshirts, 5) No Award, 6) Blackout.

    Best Novella: 1) On A Red Station, Drifting, 2) The Emporer’s Soul, 3) After the Fall, Before the Fall, During the Fall, 4) “The Stars Do Not Lie”, 5) No Award, 6) San Diego 2014

    Best Novelette: 1) The Girl-Thing Who Went Out for Sushi, 2) Fade To White, 3) The Boy Who Cast No Shadow, 4) In Sea-Salt Tears, 5) Rat-Catcher

    Best Short Story: 1) Immersion, 2) Mono no Aware, 3) Mantis Wives.

    So, skimming through, I seem to agree more with you than with many of the others. I don’t seem to have a good record for picking winners though!

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