Zagreb, Exit South

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Ooligan Press, 2005 - Fiction - 125 pages
1 Review
""Zagreb, Exit South" is a deep, melancholy book about the resignation of the 40 year old, about people who have given up on life, who can only exist on the street or in bars because they fear and dread going home to their high-rise caverns in New Zagreb where the rules of an allegedly organized world reign. But Popovic's characters have no patience with the lies of this world. They have no patience because they have neither homes nor a homeland: they have lost all their illusions. Popovic is simply the epitome of the urban writer. . . . The best narrator of his generation has achieved literary maturity and that is great news.'-Slobodan Novak

"Zagreb, Exit South" masterfully illuminates the lives of diverse, colorful characters adrift in postwar Croatia. Through bleary, middle-aged eyes, stymied writer Baba takes readers on an amusing, thought-provoking ride as he circles the streets of Zagreb bemoaning the dying out of domestic beer, Kancheli's ridiculous musical lighter, and the fear of going home. His wife Vera, facing wrinkles and an alcoholic spouse, discovers that e-mail is cheaper than therapy as she reshapes her life. Reflective insight, biting humor, and life-changing experiences combine to revive hope in the shadows of Zagreb's city buildings.

 

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This short novel is simultaneously funny and sad. In modern-day Croatia, the characters have no idea how to seek happiness in their post-traumatic stress syndrome lives. They foolishly seek it through alcohol, sex, and dysfunctional relationships. While their lives seem largely meaningless and pathetic, and Baba and Vera in particular need to take communication lessons from Marshall Rosenberg, the reader nonetheless manages to sympathize with them and hopes that they make some progress. 

Contents

Performances in the park and bad timing
75
Sumatran cigarillos spritzers and straw hats
79
An ashtray a nave crow and the art of gynecology
82
The worried threesome sitting in the shade of the dwarf oak tree and things that should never be spoken about
85
Childrens names peedon pants and a hidden coin
90
Living with someone isnt the same as getting AIDS
98
Anarchism cash and Big Brother
101
Watch out friend for a highheeled blonde with big crisp bills in her hand
103
The missing lighters and Little Red Riding Hoods bodyguard
107
Dont look in Samobar for what you can find in Utrine
110
How it ended
112
What happened afterwards
122
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About the author (2005)

Born 1957 in Livno, Bosnia-Herzegovina. Resides in Zagreb. A founder/editor of the journal, "Quorum," his first collection of stories, "Midnight Boogie," was hailed by Croatian critics as the most charismatic book of the 1980s. As a journalist, published widely from the battlefields during the Homeland War. His experiences as journalist and soldier chronicled in "Under the Rainbow," (novella) and in memoirs.

Busic is a native of Oregon and holds a Master's Degree in German and Liguistics. She has won the Croatian Writer's Society award. She has been senior advisor in the Office of the President in the Republic of Croatia. She served 13 years in prison and was released in 1989. Her husband was incarcerated for almost 25 years.

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