BOOK REVIEW "APRIL FOOL'S DAY" JOSIP NOVAKOVICH
By Katarina Tepesh
In his latest book "April Fool's Day," Josip Novakovich does a great job of weaving a fictional character Ivan Dolinar, with the background of real historical events in Croatia.
Ivan is a complex character in the novel, with all the complications and contradictions dealing with very familiar events in Croatia. In the "April Fool's Day," the dramatic comedy touches on growing up in the communist regime, the widespread fear of "Russians are coming," the luck of free speech and its severe consequences, the chronic shortages of much needed products to buy, the second class medicine for the patients, moves on to the Croatian Spring and much later the Vukovar tragedy and so on. Ivan struggling with family life, speculating how to improve his marriage as well as his working situation.
Artistically playful, Novakovich wrote a hilarious chapter towards the end of the novel, how dead man Ivan meets the Croatian law.
Novakovich is a master of details, making meticulous observations loaded with an edge, using metaphors.
Josip Novakovich is the winner of a Whiting Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, a National Endowment for the Arts grant, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. He has published two short story collections, "Yolk" and "Salvation and Other Disasters," and two collections of essays, "Plum Brandy: Croatian Journeys" and "Apricots from Chernobyl." As Editor with Robert Shapard "Stepmother Tongue: Stories in English."
Novakovich teaches creative writing at Pennsylvania State University.
"April Fool's Day: A Novel" by Josip Novakovich, published by HarperCollins, available in bookstores and www.amazon.com $16.77.
Josip Novakovich will appear at KGB Reading Series on Sunday, October 10th at 7 pm. FREE
KGB is a bar where authors read from latest work. Novakovich will read from his novel "April Fool's Day." KGB is located at 85 East 4th Street, between Second and Third Avenue (subway F or V to Second Ave; No. 6 to Bleecker St) New York, New York Telephone 1-212-505-3360 www.kgbbar.com