I was born in 1982 in Vukovar, where I lived until the summer of 1991, when I went on a holiday with my brother, not knowing that we would never return because of the war. I finished elementary school in Kumrovec and high school in Zagreb. The news and the books that I borrowed and sometimes stole, were the constant of my life in exile. I attained a master’s degree in philosophy and Croatian studies at the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences in Zagreb. For the first collection of poetry First step into the darkness, published in 2005, I received the Goran Award for young poets and the Kvirin Award of Matica hrvatska for the best poet under 35 years of age. Five years later, I published my first novel, The Hotel Tito, which greatly marked my life and professional path, directing me exclusively towards literature. Shortly after the publication of the novel, I began to work in the status of an independent artist, within which I am still engaged in literary and cultural work.
In addition to writing prose and poetry, I’m the program coordinator of the Zagreb Book Festival, I write columns for newspapers and portals, lead creative writing workshops, and in various ways collaborate with other artists and associations in the field of culture.
My books have been translated into twelve languages (English, German, French, Italian, Czech, Danish, Spanish, Macedonian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Hungarian, Turkish), published in thirteen countries, and three titles have been published in the United States, as well as the audiobook edition of The Hotel Tito.
For my work, I have received important recognitions and literary awards, both domestic and international, including the Kiklop Award for best novel, Edo Budiša, Balkan Noir, Ulysse Prix (France). Also, I’ve been a guest at various fairs, readings and literary festivals in Leipzig, Frankfurt, Vienna, Belgrade, Berlin, Paris, Toronto, Boston, New York, London and others.
My poems have been included in numerous anthologies such as the German Grand Tour, an anthology of contemporary European verse, while the stories and excerpts from the novels have been published in many literary magazines in Europe and the USA (Asymptote, Agni).
The National Theater of Zenica staged the play Pukotina based on my collection of short stories 100% Cotton, while the theatrical adaptation of The Hotel Tito, directed by Anica Tomić at the Gavella Drama Theater, won the Croatian Theater Award for the best play in 2020.
I live in Dugo Selo between the train and the forest.