The White Whale Bookstore; the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Russian, East European and Eurasian studies; Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures; and the Yugoslav Nationality Room are delighted to host Asja Bakić this February to celebrate the release of her latest book translated to English, Sweetlust (translated by Jennifer Zoble)! Come out to learn more about this collection of feminist dystopian/sci-fi stories!
The eleven stories in Sweetlust interweave feminist critique, intertextuality, and science fiction tropes in an irreverent portrait of our past, present, and future. In a dystopian world with no men, women are “rehabilitated” at an erotic amusement park. Climate change has caused massive flooding and warming in the Balkans, where one programmer builds a time machine. And a devious reimagining of The Sorrows of Young Werther refocuses to center a sexually adventurous Charlotte. Asja Bakić deploys the speculative and weird to playfully interrogate conversations around artificial intelligence, gender fluidity, and environmental degradation. As she did in her acclaimed debut Mars, Bakić once again upends her characters’ convictions and identities—and infuses each disorienting universe with sly humor and off-kilter eroticism. Visceral and otherworldly, Sweetlust takes apart human desire and fragility, repeatedly framing pleasure as both inviting and perilous.
Asja Bakić is a Bosnian author of poetry and prose, as well as a translator. She was selected as one of Literary Europe Live’s New Voices from Europe 2017, and her writing has been translated into seven languages. Her debut, Mars, was published in English by Feminist Press in 2019. She currently lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.
Jennifer Zoble translates Balkan literature into English. Recent books include Call Me Esteban, her translation of Zovite me Esteban by Lejla Kalamujić, and her translation of Mars by Asja Bakić, which was named one of the “Best Fiction Books of 2019” by Publishers Weekly. Zoble is on the faculty of Liberal Studies at NYU, where she teaches writing and translation.
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