October 25, 2011
essays | pb | 324 pgs
5.5" x 8.5"
"Ugresic never commits a sloppy thought or a turgid sentence. Under her gaze, the tiredest topics of the "tired" continent (migration, multiculturalism, "new Europe") spring to life."
—The Independent (UK)
Over the past three decades, Dubravka Ugresic has established herself as one of Europe’s greatest—and most entertaining—thinkers and creators, and it’s in her essays that Ugresic is at her sharpest. With laser focus, she pierces our pop culture, dissecting the absurdity of daily life with a wit and style that’s all her own.
Whether it’s commentary on jaded youth, the ways technology has made us soft in the head, or how wrestling a hotel minibar into a bathtub is the best way to stick it to The Man, Ugresic writes with unmatched honesty and panache. Karaoke Culture is full of candid, personal, and opinionated accounts of topics ranging from the baffling worldwide-pop-culture phenomena to the detriments of conformist nationalism. Sarcastic, biting, and, at times, even heartbreaking, this new collection of essays fully captures the outspoken brilliance of Ugresic’s insights into our modern world’s culture and conformism, the many ways in which it is ridiculous, and how (deep, deep down) we are all true suckers for it.
Translated from the Croatian by David Williams
About the Author: Dubravka Ugresic is the author of several works of fiction, including The Museum of Unconditional Surrender and The Ministry of Pain, and several essay collections, Nobody's Home and Karaoke Culture. In 1991, when war broke out in the former Yugoslavia, Ugresic took a firm anti-nationalistic stand and was proclaimed a "traitor," a "public enemy," and a "witch," and was exposed to harsh and persistent media harassment. As a result, she left Croatia in 1993 and currently lives in Amsterdam. In 2016, she was awarded the Neustadt International Prize for Literature for her body of work.
About the Translator: David Williams studied Comparative Literature at the University of Auckland, specifically the post-Yugoslav writings of Dubravka Ugresic and the idea of a "literature in the Easter European ruins." He is the translator of Ugresic's Europe in Sepia and Miljenko Jergović's Mama Leone.
"Ugresic is sharp, funny and unafraid. . . . Orwell would approve."
—Times Literary Supplement
“Dubravka Ugresic is the philosopher of evil and exile, and the storyteller of many shattered lives the wars in the former Yugoslavia produced.”