Translated from the Serbian by Will Firth
The Great War is a novel that comprehensively and passionately narrates a number of stories covering the duration of World War One, starting with the year 1914 – the year that truly marked the beginning of the twentieth century. Following the destinies of over seventy characters, on all warring sides, Gatalica depicts the experiences of winners and losers, generals and opera singers, soldiers and spies; managing to grasp the atmosphere of the entire epoch, not only of these crucial four and a half bloody years, but also in the innocent decades that preceded the war, and the poisoned ones that followed.
The stories themselves are various but equally important: here we find joyful as well as tragic destinies, along with examples of exceptional heroism. Yet The Great War never becomes a chronicle, nor a typical historical novel; above all it is a work of art that uses historic events as means to tell stirring stories with unbelievable and unthinkable convolutions.
About the Author
Aleksandar Gatalica has published five novels to date. Most significant among them are: The Lines of Life (winner of the Miloš Crnjanski Award and the Giorgio la Pira, Italy), The Invisible (winner of the Stevan Sremac Award), and The Great War (Meša Selimović Award, National Library of Serbia Award, best selling book in 2013 in Serbia). Aleksandar Gatalica is also a translator from Ancient Greek, and an active music critic and writer.