THE DEATH OF THE LITTLE MATCH GIRL

ZORAN FERIĆ

Naklada MD, 2003, 198 pages
• complete translation available in English, German, Italian

Translation rights sold: USA (Autumn Hill Books), Germany (Folio Verlag), Italy (Nikita Editore), Slovenia (V.B.Z.), Turkey (Dora Basım Yayın)

A “Mediterranean Twin Peaks”, this social novel with a distincive crime-plot powerfuly provokes a deeply entranched bourgeois taste but is also an allegory for the atmosphere in the entire country of the 90s as the war and death find their very unispected and unusual ways to present.

The title and the last story in his collection An Angel in Offside  has become the first chapter of this novel. Critics generally agree that Ferić’s work is exceptional, which may not be to everyone’s taste due to the theme and methods. Indeed, the novel, in certain aspects, strongly provokes a deeply entrenched bourgeois taste. It is a social novel with a distinctive crime-plot. Its main character Fero, a pathologist, is investigating the death of a Romanian transvestite whom they called the Little Match Girl because he helped spread a venereal disease which causes burning urination. However, this plot is only a skeleton in which bizarre characters and events during the war period on the island of Rab are intertwined. The island itself is an allegory for the atmosphere in the entire country, shattered by the roar of ammunition, in which death occurs in the most bizarre ways.

Critics have called this novel a “Mediterranean Twin Peaks” where fear and paranoia are spiced with sex and humour.

The novel The Death of the Little Match Girl has been translated into German, English, Slovenian and Italian.

In Croatia, the book was published in three editions by Naklada MD, Profil International and V.B.Z.