Author(s): Dasa Drndic
Andreas Ban is a writer and a psychologist, an intellectual proper, full of empathy, but his world has been falling apart for years. When he retires with a miserable pension and finds out that he is ill, he gains a new perspective on the debris of his life and the lives of his friends. In defying illness and old age, Andreas Ban is cynical and powerful, and in his investigations into his own past, he learns stories told by the disempowered, hunted down and helpless, stories that uncompromisingly lay bare a gamut of taboos. In Belladonna, Dasa Drndic pushes to the limit the issues about illness and the (im)possibility of living (and dying) in contemporary, utterly dehumanised world where old age and illness are the scarlet letters of shame thrown in the face of the advertised eternal youth and beauty. Belladonna brings together fiction and reality, and Andreas Ban stands for a true hero of our times; he is a castaway intellectual of a society which subdues every critical thought under the disguise of political correctness.
Dasa Drndic is a distinguished Croatian novelist, playwright and literary critic, author of radio plays and documentaries. She is the author of Trieste (2012) and Leica Format (2015). Trieste was shortlisted for the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in 2013, and has now been translated into many languages.