Nominated by:

Belgrade City Library, Serbia

Publisher of nominated edition:

Geopoetika Publishing, Serbia

Ma Belle

Maja Herman Sekulić       

Translated from the Serbian by Persida Bošković

2018 Longlist

Maja Herman Sekulić has written a fantastic piece of historical metafiction about a woman named Mabel Grujic. Having invested years of research into the life of this “renaissance woman”, the author weaves an enchanting tale of the world in one of its most tumultuous times, the turn of the twentieth century through the Great War and into the early 1920s. Seen through the eyes of an American woman married to an influential Serb, the Balkan mayhem takes on an empathetic hue; Mabel Grujic profoundly identified with the Serbian people as they developed their country from a largely agricultural nation into a modern state, all the while facing the horrors of the Balkan Wars and WWI. Written in a first-person narrative, the novel draws the reader in on a personal level and aspires to depict the birth of a nation through sacrifice, determination, hard work, and education.

About the author

Maja Herman Sekulić is a poet, novelist, essayist, and translator. Education in several European countries and attaining her PhD in the U.S., she has devoted her life to various forms of written expression and to building bridges between her homeland and the English-speaking world. Reaching beyond the printed word, her academic career includes an entire range of guest lectures, grants, and professional engagements at prestigious institutions such as Harvard, Rutgers, Columbia, and Princeton. Her works include 5 collections of poems, 4 novels, 2 books of criticism, 2 books of essays, and 1 biography. She has also published 12 major books of translations which have had a huge impact on the Serbian literary scene. She divides her time between New York City and Belgrade.

(from publisher)

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