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17 Jan 12

Slobodan Tisma Wins Serbia's NIN Literary Prize

This year's NIN award for best novel in the Serbian language has been awarded to Slobodan Tisma for his piece entitled "Bernardijeva Soba".

Nemanja Cabric
Writer Slobodan Tisma and the managing editor of NIN Nebojsa Spajic together  in Belgrade onb January 16, 2012. | Photo by Beta

"[Tisma's] novel is a carefully orchestrated meditative prose coming from a confident writer, musician, and performer whose formal values enrich modern Serbian prose with the most recent developments in the world novel,” the jury explained in its decision.

The award, one of the most prestigious literary prizes in Serbia, is given by NIN, a weekly magazine.

"Bernardijeva Soba", or Bernardi's room in English, originated from a poem dedicated to the author's friend from Hungary, also a writer, Tisma explained at a press conference in Belgrade on Monday.

The novel took two years to complete, he added.

“For me the most important thing was poetry. In the world of prose I embarked, we might say, in old age. I was interested in the novel only as a form which mirrors poetry,” Tisma told reporters.

Of the 106 works that competed for the award, six novels were shortlisted.

The winner was chosen by the president of the jury, literary critic Vasa Pavkovic, and jury members Ljiljana Sop, Mile Acimovic Ivkov, Dr. Vladislava Gordic-Petkovic and Mica Vujicic.

A former rock musician, Slobodan Tisma, born in 1946, studied literature in Belgrade and Novi Sad. He has been involved in conceptual art, rock music, and was the founder of the new-wave bands "Luna" and "La Strada".

He has published several books of poetry, including "Marinizmi" (1995), "The Garden as It" (1997) and "Urvidek" (2005). He also wrote a novel, "Quattro stagioni" (2010).

The NIN award will be formally presented to Tisma at a ceremony in the Belgrade Assembly on January 23.

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