Lana Bastašić was born in Zagreb in 1986 to Serbian parents. After the breakup of Yugoslavia, she grew up in Banja Luka, Bosnia. There, she studied English and Communication Sciences. She lived in Spain for several years and obtained an international certificate as an English teacher in Prague.
Her debut novel, »Uhvati zeca« (2018; Eng. »Catch the Rabbit«, 2021), was shortlisted for the NIN Award, Serbia’s most prestigious literary prize, and received the European Union Literature Prize in 2020, as well as the Latisana per il Nord-est international prize in 2021. The two childhood friends, Lejla, a Bosniak, and Sara, a Serb, are traveling through the Balkans to Vienna after twelve years without contact. Lejla stayed there, while Sara lives as a poet in Dublin. The consequences of the war are still present, and so the once inseparable friends travel through a dark land of poverty and hopelessness, delving into the depths of Yugoslavian history. The novel has been translated into 20 languages.
Lana Bastašić has also published three collections of short stories: »Trajni pigmenti« (2010; tr: Permanent Pigments), »Vatrometi« (2013; tr: Fireworks), and »Mliječni zubi« (2020; tr: Man in the Moon in 2023). In the latter, the author tells twelve eerily beautiful stories from a child’s perspective about adolescents who are at the mercy of their parents who have been traumatized by the war. They experience violence, live in fear, but are by no means defenseless and eventually become perpetrators themselves. »The drama of childhood, as staged by the author, has universal traits, but it also has its specific social and political references.« [»NZZ«] She has also written the children’s book »Nastja crta sunce« (2015; tr: Nastja Draws the Sun) with illustrations by Sandra Dukić.
In 2016, she co-founded the literature and writing school »Escola Bloom« in Barcelona with the Catalan writer Borja Bagunyà, and she is the editor of the Catalan literary magazine »Carn de Cap«. mong her other awards is a residency in Zurich in 2021, invited by the Literature House and the PWG Foundation. She is a co-initiator of the Three + Three Sisters project, which promotes the literary work of women in the Balkan region. In 2023, she is currently guest at the Berlin Artists-in-Residence Program of the DAAD.
Lana Bastašić lives in Berlin.