Ivo Andrich

(1892 - 1975)

"When it is a question of the writer and his work,
does it not seem a little unjust that the
author of a work of art, in addition to giving
us his creation, consequently a part of his
self, should be expected to say something
more about himself and that work?"
Andrich, Nobel Prize acceptance speech.
"And in the slightest and most insignificant
matter it is difficult for me to say
something about myself."
Andrich, letter to Claude Aveline.

Ivo Andrich, novelist, short story writer, and poet, winner of the 1961 Nobel Prize for Literature, was born at Dolac, a village near Travnik, whose varied peoples and tumultuous history are the stuff of his novels. A Croat by birth, Andrich became Serbian by choice. He studied philosophy and history at the universities of Zagreb, Vienna, Cracow and Graz, where he received his doctorate. He wrote poetry and prose, producing acutely observant stories and novellas about the full blooded, passionate, and richly assorted people of Bosnia. He quickly gained recognition as "a master among modern Yugoslav story writers". He was also active in politics. In 1941, as Yugoslavia's minister to Germany, he left Berlin only shortly before Germans began their assault on Belgrade. He has described his feelings when, during the bombing of Belgrade, he saw the people fleeing past his window:" They were all trying to save something-their lives, their children, some precious possession. I had nothing to save but my life and it was beneath human dignity to run for that." All of his principal works including The Bridge on the Drina, Devil's Yard, Three Novellas, The Women From Sarajevo and many others are translated into English. Andrich's funeral was attended by over 10,000 in Belgrade and officials that paid tribute to him.

Adapted from the:
"World Authors 1950 - 1970"; The H.W.Wilson Company.
"Ivo Andrich - A Critical Biography" by Vanita Singh Mukerji.