Acclaimed Serbian writer and translator David Albahari died on Sunday in Belgrade at the age of 75 after a long illness, his family announced.
During his career, Albahari published 14 novels, 13 collections of stories and five books of essays, many of which brought him awards.
One of his most acclaimed novels was ‘Mamac’ (‘Bait’) for which he won the NIN Award, Serbia’s most prestigious national award, in 1996 as well as the National Library of Serbia Award and the Balkanika and Most Berlin awards.
Gojko Bozovic, writer and founder of the Archipelag publishing house, said that Albahari was one of the most important storytellers and novelists in Serbian literature in the second half of the 20th century and the first decades of the 21st.
“In both stories and novels, he achieved the most difficult and most important thing – he shaped his world and his storytelling tone. We call that world and that tone by the name of the writer – ‘Albaharian’,” Bozovic said.
Writer Miljenko Jergovic said that with Albahari’s death, “a large part of us has left with him”.
“This is not an exaggeration, nor is it particularly sentimental. That’s how it is,” Jergovic wrote on Facebook.
Albahari also won the Ivo Andric Award for the best short story collection of the year in 1982 for ‘Description of Death’.
His other novels include ‘Zinc’, ‘Snezni covek’ (‘Snowman’), ‘Mrak’ (‘Dark’), ‘Gec i Majer’ (‘Gotz and Meyer’), ‘Globetrotter’, ‘Small Stories’ and ‘Missed Opportunity’. His books have been translated into 21 languages.
He has also translated a large number of books, stories, poems and essays by many American, British, Australian and Canadian writers, including Saul Bellow, Vladimir Nabokov, Margaret Atwood, Isaac Bashevis Singer and Thomas Pynchon.
He was a member of SANU, Serbia’s Academy of Science and Art, the Serbian PEN Center and the Serbian Literary Society.
Albahari was born in 1948 in what was then Yugoslavia. From 1994 until 2012, he lived in Calgary in Canada, and for the rest of his life he lived in Belgrade.
Source : Balkan Insight