22. ilb 07. - 17.09.2022

Rumena Bužarovska

Portrait Rumena Bužarovska
© Umar Timol

Rumena Bužarovska, born in 1981 in Skopje, Northern Macedonia, is a writer, literary scholar and translator. Among the authors she has translated into Macedonian are Lewis Carroll, J. M. Coetzee, Truman Capote, and Charles Bukowski. She teaches American literature at the State University of Skopje. In addition to a study on humour and literature (»What’s Funny: Theories of Humor through the Prism of the Story«, 2012) and reprints in literary journals and anthologies, four volumes of her stories have been published to date: »Čkrtki« (2007; tr: Scribble), »Osmika« (2010; tr: Wisdom Tooth), »Mojot maž« (2014; Eng. »My Husband«, 2020) and »Ne odam nikade« (2018; tr: I’m Not Going Anywhere).

Bužarovska’s first book in German translation, »Mein Mann« (2021; Eng. »My Husband«, 2020), collects eleven short stories from the limbo of marriage, in which without exception female first-person narrators mercilessly scrutinize their husbands. Trained on the North American short story, the slice-of-life stories are captivating for the callousness of the first-person narrators, who are every bit the equal of their husbands – cheaters, narcissists, despots, and machos – in their moral depravity. Bužarovska’s stories are as dark as they are humorous, offering insight into failed life plans and the female struggle for perception and self-realization – against the backdrop of the conventions and conflicts of a conservative multi-ethnic society. Foreign licenses for her work have been sold to Bosnia, Croatia, France, Hungary, Italy, Serbia, Slovenia, and the USA. In her latest collection of short stories, »Ne odam nikade« (2018; tr: I’m Not Going Anywhere), which has so far been published in Croatian, Serbian and Slovenian translations but not yet in German or English, Bužarovska tells of family, friendship, and work relationships, of rampant labor migration and feelings of economic inferiority vis-à-vis the West in a stylistically similarly straightforward and concise manner as in »My Husband«.

Bužarovska was named one of Europe’s ten most interesting literary voices in 2016 as part of the Literary Europe Live project initiated by Literary Across Frontiers. In 2018, she was a fellow of the International Writing Program in Iowa. She is a co-founder of a storytelling project for women, »PičPrič«, and is an editor of the literary magazine »Blesok«. Rumena Bužarovska lives and works in Skopje.