Josip Novakovich's short story collection, longlisted for the 2017 Scotiabank Giller Prize, delves into his family history and explores what he wants most out of life.

Josip Novakovich

In this latest short story collection, Josip Novakovich explores the shallow roots of emigration as he traverses North America from university post to writing residency. These stunning stories showcase the author at his most intimate, taking on an aura of memoir as they invite us into the privacy of his family experiences. Above all, Novakovich is in search of a natural existence, whether it be living close to the land or raising animals. (From Vehicule Press

From the book

The town in which I grew up, Daruvar, was divided along many lines: believers and non-believers, communists and anti-communists, Serbs and Croats (and Czechs), but these were all superficial divisions. The really deep and substantial one was between alcoholics and non-alcoholics. I was informed early on that I belonged to the non-alocoholic camp. My father, mother, and siblings — none of them drank. It was a little different with my uncles, one of whom fell of a barn after drinking plum brandy and broke his neck, and another who kept a vineyard and was always flush-faced, quiet, and jovial, selling suits in the centre store. Into my late teens, I didn't drink at all, and I avoided some of my friends who did. They got together, drank beer and brandy, and passed out. Others went to village fairs, got drunk, ended up in fistfights, and had sex with village girls in haystacks.

From Tumbleweed by Josip Novakovich ©2017. Published by Vehicule Press.