“Catch the Rabbit” has won the International Latisana per il Nordest prize in Italy. The Italian edition was published by Nutrimenti edizioni and translated by Elisa Copetti. The prize was awarded on September 11 ex aequo to Lana Bastašić for “Catch the Rabbit” and Paolo Malaguti for “Se l'acqua ride”. These two novels beat 65 titles and made it to the top.
In an official statement, the jury elaborated on their decision to choose “Catch the Rabbit”: There is a generation of young authors mainly from the Balkan area, who work on innovative forms of storytelling, able to represent contradictions and aporias of the new Europe. Lana Bastašić belongs to this group of storytellers children of war. The “on the road” novel, narrating the friendship between Sara and Lejla, becomes a clear metaphor of an estrangement condition that, starting from a painful memory, is capable to represent large part of contemporary society.
The author decided to share her prize with her Italian translator, Elisa Copetti, stating that “we don't appreciate literary translators as we should”.
The video of the entire ceremony is available on YouTube here.
Kada je krajem 2019. Lana Bastašić došla na ideju da šestero mladih pisaca iz šest država u 2020. započne pisati zajednički dnevnik u kojem će svatko od njih bilježiti svoje doživljaje u dva mjeseca, vjerojatno ni ona ni ostalih petero – Luiza Bouharaoua, Dijana Matković, Rumena Bužarovska, Danilo Lučić i Nikola Nikolić – nisu ni pomišljali da će pisati o godini koja će obilježiti živote svih stanovnika planeta. I upravo ta početna, nedužna pozicija iz koje sve kreće daje ovom dnevniku poseban šarm, no njegovi autori itekako dobro znaju kako da se nose s nedaćama na koje nailaze, jer ovo u njihovim životima, kao i našima, uostalom, nisu ni najčudnija ni najgora vremena. 2020. iznimna je knjiga u kojoj sekstet beskompromisno izlaže sebe i svoju intimu pred lice publike. Razmišljanja i odluke, ponekad promišljanja, a ponekad ne, strahovi i nade, samoća i rijetki susreti bili su i njihova i naša svakodnevica. Čitati o 2020. godini, u kojoj su se munjevito smjenjivale ushićenost čovječanstvom i razočaranost njime, znači iznova zaroniti u svoju nutrinu, kroz oči drugih. Forma zajedničkog dnevnika neobična je, ali ovaj maleni orkestar svira uigrano, a svaka pojedina solodionica malo je remek-djelo. (Preuzeto sa fraktura.hr )
Aug Stone chats to Lana Bastašić, the 2020 European Union Prize for Literature winner, about her debut novel ‘Catch The Rabbit’, visiting the places James Joyce lived, the works of Vladimir Nabokov, Yuz Aleshkovsky, Aglaja Veteranyi, Magda Szabó, Per Petterson and many other authors, ‘Alice In Wonderland’ of course, tips for writing, Bosnian curse words, and much more.
“Catch the Rabbit” has been selected for the Indies Introduce debut picks of the season in the USA. Two panels of booksellers chose the Indies Introduce titles—10 adult and 10 children’s—as the best of the Summer / Fall 2021 debuts. Publishers offer special terms on these books just for participating indie booksellers.
Here is what the booksellers who nominated it had to say about the novel:
“Amazing, heart-wrenching, wondrous. A years-spanning story of an intense friendship and how history (you know, wars and stuff) weighs on people's bonds. More than a decade ago, Sara left Bosnia, never to return. Now, drawn back by a long-lost childhood friend, she’s on a road trip through the Western Balkans, her own past, and a landscape scarred by social and political violence. Bastašić wrestles questions of obligation and understanding into one woman’s deeply personal reckoning. What do we owe the people who’ve shaped us, who taught us how to feel alive? What we know (and un-know) of our friends, our histories, and ourselves? It’s a story of how a person can misunderstand her friend and herself and then be completely wrecked and rebuilt as she grows to a new understanding of her world. Prepare to be split in two. WOW!” -Chris Lee, Boswell Book Company, Milwaukee, WI
“Sara and Lejla remind us that slipping back into an old friendship is the most comfortable and impossible thing to do. With too much shared and not enough spoken, Catch the Rabbit holds the truth of how growing up and coming of age are two separate events, neither of which anyone really does with grace, or without pain.” -Carrie Koepke, Skylark Bookshop, Columbia, MO
“A compelling story about a complex female friendship. Two estranged friends go on a Thelma and Louise-style road trip across Bosnia in search of one friend's brother (presumed dead from the Bosnian War). For readers of Ferrante's Neapolitan Quartet and any who has had intense childhood friendships.” -Audrey Huang, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA
Lejla und Sara sind unterwegs, in einem maroden Opel Astra über den Balkan, mit Wien als Ziel. Sie überqueren die Grenze nach Österreich und rasten an einem See. Am Ufer spielen zwei Mädchen, auf jene versunkene Weise in ihre Kindheit vertieft, die ahnen lässt: Die Freude und Unbeschwertheit werden kippen, das Spiel wird kippen, etwas verloren gehen, vernichtet werden. – KEEP READING HERE