Thanks to the cooperation of the National Book Critics Circle (NBCC) and The School of Writing at The New School, as well as the tireless efforts of our students and faculty, we are able to provide interviews with each of the NBCC Awards Finalists for the publishing year 2013.
Christina Shideler, on behalf of the School of Writing at The New School and the NBCC, interviewed Mark Thompson about his book Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kis (Cornell University Press), which is among the final five selections, in the category of Biography, for the 2013 NBCC awards.
From the Publisher: Danilo Kis (1935–89) was a Yugoslav novelist, essayist, poet, and translator whose work generated storms of controversy in his homeland but today holds classic status. Kis was championed by prominent literary figures around the world, including Joseph Brodsky, Susan Sontag, Milan Kundera, Philip Roth, Nadine Gordimer, and Salman Rushdie. As more of his works become available in translation, they are prized by an international readership drawn to Kis's innovative brilliance as a storyteller and to his profound meditation on history, culture, and the human condition at the end of the twentieth century. Over the course of nearly two decades, Mark Thompson studied Kis's papers and interviewed his family members, friends, and admirers. More than an appreciation of an important literary and cultural figure, this book is also a compelling guide to the destructive policies which would, shortly after Kis’s death, generate the worst violence in Europe since World War II.
Mark Thompson is the author of A Paper House: The Ending of Yugoslavia, Forging War: The Media in Serbia, Croatia, and Bosnia-Hercegovina, and The White War: Life and Death on the Italian Front, 1915–1919. He lives in Oxford.
Christina Shideler is a poet and writer pursuing her MFA in poetry. She got her B.A. from The University of Texas at Austin and worked as a literary agent before joining The New School graduate program.