DARK MOTHER EARTH
OceanMore, 2017, 296 pages
•Complete English translation available
“Črna mati zemla” is a novel about Matija Dolenčec, a successful young writer struggling to overcome his creative and emotional block by reaching for his own, deeply repressed and forgotten story which was compensated by inventing all of his other stories. It’s a story about a personal journey from a bright, alienated, casual and urban place into one that is dark, intimate, essential and rural.
Matija’s suppressed memories slowly reveal a traumatic story of his childhood in a village in a rural region of north Croatia, of his father’s tragic death and eight mysterious suicides, of two demons haunting him, the loss of a friend, great myths and local legends, the historic turmoil of the nineties, everyday lies, guilt, cruelty, loneliness and love. Universality, depth and poignancy, intimate scenes and exceptional portraits, painful scenes of violence and pedophilia, humorist flares and delicate reflections are what makes this novel a rural panorama of memorable characters, a candle-lit horror hidden in the heart of darkness, immersed in the gelid river, a historic reconstruction of a microcosmos in which football and tanks, socialism and archetypes coexist.