Karnera is a novel about boxing and boxers, small-town thugs and unrealized champions, people who were not particularly clever or talented, but punched like a hammer. Karnera is a novel about a world which is in constant odds with mutually distant, but unfinished historical times; the times of prince and king Nikola, fratricidal butchering of World War II, the attack on Dubrovnik and Konavle run side by side. And alongside all these time torrents, the narrator’s personal time flows, pushing its way through life and through all those historical times. His story has an almost hypnotic effect on the reader; it is convincing like the crudest realism, often offering historical characters with their real names, but that realism, that document of a time, turns into a dream and nightmare in the very next moment, into a brief phantasy, which will again flow into another torrent, with all those torrents finally making Karnera: a novel of a boxer from ex-Yugoslav socialism, a novel of several ladies, who, in some historical non-time, play bridge in Cetinje, the most remote and most rainy capital of Europe. Narrated in a vivid language, in which each word bears memory of the world from which it was born, Karnera is a book-homage to Montenegro, to be placed on the shelf beside Milovan Đilas, Ismail Kadare, Robert Bolaño, Mirko Kovač, Boris Maruna.
Meša Selimović Award 2013
World rights available