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Celia Hawkesworth

Daša Drndić’s <br><i>Belladonna</i>

Daša Drndić’s
Belladonna

Reviewed by Sara Nović

I picked up Daša Drndić’s Belladonna a few weeks before neo-Nazi rallies swept through the United States, the latest show of force by the burgeoning “Alt-Right” and white supremacist movement. The real world had left me on edge. And as with any Croatian or ex-Yugoslavian literature, I expected an emotional read—no matter the subject matter, Balkan novels often find me awash in nostalgia for one of the places I call home, or stung with grief when they lay bare the wars of the ‘90s. It will come as no surprise for those familiar with her work that Drndić’s latest does both. What I hadn’t expected, though, was the ways in which Belladonna would speak to me, and all of us, as Americans—warning us, precisely encapsulating for us the ugly truth of the political moment in which we are struggling...