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Angels Beneath the Surface: A Selection of Contemporary Slovene Fiction

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Angels Beneath the Surface: A Selection of Contemporary Slovene Fiction edited by  Mitja ?ander and Tom Priestly, book reviewThe Slovenes are very literary people. Their national heroes are men of letters, among them Primož Trubar, the father of the Slovene language and writer of the first book in Slovene; Janez Vajkard Valvasor, a noted polymath and writer of the Glory of the Duchy of Carniola, a mammoth encyclopaedia of the natural history of what is now Slovenia; and France Prešeren, widely regarded as Slovenia’s greatest poet and writer of the words of the Slovene national anthem. When a Slovenian asks your name, he literally asks how you ‘write yourself’; what could be more literary?

Slovenia has a population of just two million but publishes more books per capita than the United States; with more than four thousand books published each year, Slovenia is near the top of the international leader-board. However, a book that sells about six hundred copies in Slovenia is regarded as a best seller’; this begs the question, can an author writing in Slovene earn enough to have a comfortable existence?

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