Desa Muck was born in Ljubljana in 1955 and is one of Slovenia’s most versatile authors for children and young people. Her novels, textbooks and radio plays have received many awards and have been widely translated. Many of her books belong to the set texts for the children’s reading competition ‘Bralna znacka’. Before Desa Muck made writing her main pr ofession, she worked as a technical illustrator, a carer for mentally handicapped children, an actress and a pr esenter and she published 150 “dime novels”. She attracted a great deal of attention with the parallel publication of her two books for young people, ‘Pod milim nebom’ and the good-humoured textbook ‘Blazno resno o seksu’ (1999), and she soon advanced into the ranks of the most popular children’s and young people’s literature authors in her country.
With a keen grasp of adolescents’ perception of their surroundings, their thoughts and their language, Muck uses her novels to tackle the pr oblems with which teenagers are often confronted: school, friendship, love, sexuality and questions about which path to follow in life. In her five part ‘Deadly Serious’ series she uses stories, amusing quizzes and scientific explanations to address themes such as sexuality, behaviour, drugs and the media. She always finds the right tone to understandingly and humorously mirror young people’s view of reality with all its follies, disappointments, challenges and obstacles. In doing so, she picks up on young readers’ questions, and offers them encouraging solutions without patronising them. For Susi, in ‘Lažniva Suzi’ (1997), it is so important to be popular amongst her new classmates that she starts telling lies. When her invented stories are uncovered, she has to cope with a lot of harassment until her participation in a theatre group allows her to accept herself the way she is. ‘Lažniva Suzi’ was awarded the Vecernica- Prize (1997), which is awarded annually to the best Slovenian book for young adults.
Recently, the author has also been writing for younger readers. Her children’s book series for beginners ‘Anica’, which includes six books to date, was awarded the pr ize ‘My favourite book’ in 2003, which is chosen by children from all over Slovenia. In 2006 the novel ‘Anica i velike brige’ (2003, Engl: Anica has trouble) was taken up in the IBBY Honour list. Her latest work, ‘Kokos velikanka’ (2007, Engl: The giant chicken) plays out in the time of the dinosaurs and tells of the joys and sorrows of a giant chicken living with humans. Having published over 300 newspaper columns, Desa Muck also belongs to the most widely read columnists in Slovenia. Since 1985 she has also been working in television and radio, has adapted Roald Dahl’s ‘Mathilda’ for theatre and in 2000 she was the leading actress in the TV series ‘Bolnišnica na Robu’. The author lives in Mokronog with her three daughters.
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