Olja Savičević is a poet and novelist from Split, Croatia. Her first poetry collection, It Will Be Tremendous When I Grow Up, was published in 1988, when she was fourteen. Since then she has published five other books of poems: Eternal Kids (1993); Female Manuscripts (1999); Puzzlerojc (2005); House Rules (2007), winner of the prestigious Croatian award Kiklop; and Mamasafari (2012). She is also the author of a short story collection To Make a Dog Laugh (2006), which won a Croatian prize for the best fiction writer under thirty-five, as well as two novels, Adios, Cowboy (2010) and Night Singer (2016). Both of her novels were awarded the best Croatian novel by the periodical T-portal, while Night Singer also won the Croatian Libar za Vajk (Forever Book) award.
Savičević often collaborates with Croatian theatres as a dramatist and lyricist. Two of her short stories have been adapted into short films, while her novel Adios, Cowboy, was adapted for stage.
Her work has been included in a number of Croatian and international anthologies, including Best European Fiction 2014 (Dalkey Archive) and Surfacing: Contemporary Croatian Poetry (Harbor Mountain Press, 2014), and it has been translated into more than 20 languages, including Albanian, Bulgarian, Czech, Dutch, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Hindu, English, Italian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Polish, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian, Spanish, Swedish, Ukranian, and Zulu, though, oddly, seldom into English.
Her novel Adios, Cowboy was released in English in the US by McSweeney’s in 2016, and in the UK in 2015. The Guardian greeted the UK release with “…this perfectly pitched novel about the legacy of the Yugoslav war heralds the arrival of an exciting new European voice.”
Mamasafari is the first book-length collection of her poetry in English.