AUDIO: Lidija Dimkovska in Conversation with Michael Holtmann on A Spare Life


Last Thursday we were very happy to welcome a large and enthusiastic crowd to Diesel, a Bookstore to celebrate the release of Lidija Dimkovska’s EU Prize–winning novel A Spare Life (tr. Christine Kramer). This event was the 9th of 10 events Lidija had been in since October 5, when she launched her U.S. tour at Brooklyn’s Community Bookstore.

Below you will find audio of the bilingual reading and conversation between Dimkovksa and Center Executive Director Michael Holtmann. Among other things, they touched on how A Spare Life’s central conceit—the story of conjoined twins growing up in Yugoslavia—metaphorically looks at the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the post-Communist era.


0:00 Introductions

2:54 Bilingual readings in Macedonian and English

13:20 Where the voice of the narrator, one of the conjoined twins, came from?

22:55 The optimism in the twins’ lives

27:05 The relationship of the book to the wars surrounding the disintegration of Yugoslavia

39:55 The “lost generation” of Yugoslavian writers and the writing of the wars

47:10 What does the Macedonian language mean to you?

53:40 Audience Q & A

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