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Herbarium of Souls
Vladimir Tasić
translated by Ralph Bogert, Christine Pribichevich-Zorić & Vladimir Tasić

“Tasić is able to combine in his stories a deep and subtle melancholy with a broad variety of subjects coming from classical culture—mythology, natural sciences, mathematics and medicine—in a line of writing quite infrequent nowadays, firmly rooted in the great tradition of authors such as Danilo Kiš and Jorge Luis Borges. In his native country, he is considered one of the brightest new authors.”
—Guillermo Martinez, University of Buenos Aires

“His writing has a playful self-consciousness reminiscient of Borges’s Labyrinths. It also reminded me a little of Milan Kundera. He is a young author who seems to enjoy exploring the possibilies of fiction. He may well make a name for himself.”
New Hope International (UK)

“Tasić’s a new narrative voice...In these impeccably constructed stories, rational and mystical planes intersect...characters search for the ‘fundamental mistakes’ that could either open ways of gaining insight into reality or mark the futility of attempts to come to know the truth.”
—David Albahari, author of Words are something else and Tsing

Herbarium of Souls is a collection of four stories whose central characters operate in various forms of intellectual denial: in one, a former student struggles with problems of nostalgia when asked to investigate his professor’s last discovery and sudden disappearance at Peggy’s Cove, Nova Scotia; there’s a tale where “the heart of darkness” is the narrator’s idea of wilderness—a trip into the forests of the Alps; there’s a fictional account of a logician meeting Rudolf Steiner; and a reknowned artist becomes colour-blind after an accident.

Vladimir Tasić (Novi Sad, Yugoslavia, 1965) lives in Gagetown, New Brunswick, and writes in the Serbian language. He has published two collections of short stories: Pseudologija fantastika (Novi Sad: Matica srpska, 1995), and Radost Brodolomnika (Novi Sad: Svetovi, 1997, second rev. edition 1998). The second collection appeared in English translation as Herbarium of Souls (Fredericton: Broken Jaw Press, 1998). Tasić’s stories have appeared in various literary magazines and anthologies in Serbia, most recently in The Man Who Ate Death (Belgrade: PEN, 2003, ed. by M. Pantic)—an anthology of Serbian prose in English translation.
In 2001, he made the customary leap and published a short novel, Oprostajni dar (Novi Sad: Svetovi, 2001), which received several literary prizes in Serbia as book of the year, and was shortlisted for all major literary awards in the country. In March 2004, the novel appeared in French translation as Cadeau d’adieu [Farewell Gift] (Montreal: Les Allusifs). It was received very well in France, with numerous reviews in the national press, on radio and television. His second novel, Kiša i hartija (Novi Sad: Svetovi, 2004), won the Vitalova nagrada and NINova nagrada awards in 2005.
Vladimir is also the author of several essays, most recently on the great Yugoslav writer Danilo Kiš, “The Gospel of Kiš”, which appeared in 2004 in an Italian reader on Kiš.
His study in the history of ideas Mathematics and the Roots of Postmodern Thought was published by Oxford University Press, New York, in 2001. The book has been translated into Spanish (Buenos Aires: Ediciones Coligue, 2001), Serbian (Novi Sad: Svetovi, 2002), and Chinese (Fudan University Press of China, 2004).
He teaches mathematics at the University of New Brunswick, Fredericton.

1998 / 8.5” x 5.5” / 96 pp / short fiction (BISAC: FIC019000, FIC029000)
Broken Jaw Press
ISBN 0-921411-72-3 (tp) / $17.95
BJP eBook 22, ISBN 1-896647-67-7