Fabijancic, Tony 1966-

views updated

FABIJANCIC, Tony 1966-


Born 1966, in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada; son of Josip Fabijancic; mother, a college instructor; married; children: two. Ethnicity: "Canadian, of Croatian and German background." Education: St. Francis Xavier, B.A. (English); University of Victoria, M.A. (English); University of New Brunswick, Ph.D. (English). Politics: "Left." Hobbies and other interests: Visual art and sports such as soccer, hockey, and track.


Office—Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland, University Dr., Corner Bank, Newfoundland A2H 6P9, Canada. E-mail—[email protected].


Educator. Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, Memorial University of Newfoundland, Corner Bank, Newfoundland, Canada, associate professor of contemporary literature.


(And photographer) Croatia: Travels in Undiscovered Country, University of Alberta Press (Edmonton, Alberta, Canada), 2003.

Contributor of academic, fiction, travel, and other articles and photographs to periodicals, including Mosaic, Antigonish Review, University of Toronto Quarterly, West Coast Line, Brunswickan, Western Star, and Globe and Mail.


A collection of short stories; a scholarly work about urban space, vision, and modernity; essays about Joseph Cornell and David Lynch; a historical novel set in Bosnia.


Tony Fabijancic is a Canadian professor of English. He is also of Croatian descent, the son of a man who immigrated to Canada from Yugoslavia in 1964, and who maintained his relationship with his home country by taking his family back for holidays and visits. Fabijancic continued traveling to Croatia to learn more about its people, history, and what its future might hold, and he published an account of his visits as Croatia: Travels in Undiscovered Country.

Fabijancic begins on the Adriatic island of Pag, then visits the capital city of Zagreb. He concludes in Istria, along the way concentrating on the rural areas and their inhabitants, particularly the peasants in the north and the fishermen in the south. Little-known towns as well as familiar tourist spots, like Dubrovnik, are visited. Throughout these travels, the people he meets discuss such matters as how the events of 1991 have changed their lives, what it felt like to have neighbors become enemies, and changing attitudes toward tradition.

Fabijancic reflects on his family's history and his own life as he writes of military struggles, landmarks, and figures important to the history of Croatia. M2 Best Books critic Peter Haswell noted that some of the regions discussed are not included in the map that is located near the front of the book, but he did say that Croatia is "a very enjoyable read."

In Library Journal, Mirela Roncevic noted that with the influx of European and North Americans, the larger population centers of Croatia are becoming more influenced by Western-style capitalism and populated by many Croatians who would like to become players in the cultures and economies of Europe and the United States. Roncevic said that although the book represents only a part of Croatian life, it "tries to capture what is left of rural Croatia," and that "these personal (but never biased) essays fully encapsulate the country's essence" without letting the politics interrupt the overall rhythm of the narrative.

Fabijancic observes the feelings of many Croatians, including some of the young, who are content with the old way of life. He writes that in Herzegovina, there are those who have hope that some day all the people of the former Yugoslavia will again live together in peace.

Fabijancic "foregoes the usual blend of ethnography, historical writing, and travel journalism in this short, sweet examination of Croatian culture," according to Quill & Quire's Andrew Kett. Cindy Appel wrote in CelebrityCafe.com, "Open up Croatia and start reading. You'll be engulfed in more than a world—it's a frame of mind, a mood, a sensation. It's the next best thing to being there."



Library Journal, July, 2003, Mirela Roncevic, review of Croatia: Travels in Undiscovered Country, p. 111.

M2 Best Books, September 17, 2003, Peter Haswell, review of Croatia.

Quill & Quire, January, 2003, Andrew Kett, review of Croatia, pp. 29-30.


CelebrityCafe.com,http://www.thecelebritycafe.com/ (June 24, 2003), Cindy Appel, review of Croatia.