While the book is a work of fiction, he explains that its details, tastes and smells mostly come from his personal experiences, reflected in the photos above by his wife, Jeanette Novakovich, who is herself a writer and visual artist.
“Some stories come from reading — the news and so forth — but even then, the details I use to visualize and set the stories are filtered through my blood and nerves.”
Another major upheaval for Novakovich was the sudden, career-marking coup of being named a finalist for one of the world’s most prestigious literary awards, the Man Booker International Prize, in 2013.
The accompanying recognition and attention put Novakovich under an immediate and intense spotlight, but he says it hasn’t altered him as a writer. “The Booker nomination was a whirlwind of travel and interviews, and though I didn’t win, I have the sense that things are easier now than they were before. The writing remains the same.”
Readers can judge for themselves on Thursday, October 15, when Ex-Yu will have its official, public launch at Montreal’s Drawn & Quarterly bookstore (211 Bernard Ave. W.) at 7 p.m. The event is free and open to the public, and Novakovich will be on hand to read from the book and answer questions.
Find out about more about Josip Novakovich’s writing process by watching his in-depth discussion with fellow Booker Prize nominee, Peter Carey.
Read about Josip Novakovich’s experiences as a Man Booker International nominee.