Živkovic, Zoran 1948-
ŽIVKOVIĆ, Zoran 1948-
Born 1948, in Belgrade, Yugoslavia (now Serbia); married; wife's name Mia; children: Uros, Andreja (twin sons). Education: University of Belgrade, earned degree (literary theory), 1973, M.A., 1979, Ph.D., 1982.
Home—Belgrade, Serbia. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Ministry of Whimsy Press, P.O. Box 4248, Tallahassee, FL 32315.
Writer and translator.
Milos Crjanski award, 1994, for Cetvrti krug; World Fantasy Award, 2003, for The Library.
(Editor and translator from English, Polish, and Russian) Savremenici budûcnosti: price i tvorci naucne fantastike (stories; title means "Contemporaries of the Future"), Narodna Knjiga (Belgrade, Yugoslavia), 1983.
Cetvrti krug, 1993, translated by Mary Popovic as The Fourth Circle, Ministry of Whimsy (Tallahassee, FL), 2004.
Vremenski darovi, Stubovi Kulture (Belgrade, Serbia), 1997, translated by Alice Copple Tosic as Time Gifts: Writing from an Unbound Europe, Northwestern University Press (Evanston, IL), 2000.
Pisac, Stubovi Kulture (Belgrade, Serbia), 1998, translation published as The Writer, Prime Books, 2003.
Knjiga, Stubovi Kulture (Belgrade, Serbia), 2000, translation published as The Book, Prime Books, 2003.
Nemogući suscreti (title means "Impossible Encounters"), 2001, translation published in Impossible Stories, 2004.
Biblioteka, Alfa (Belgrade, Serbia), 2002, translation published as The Library in Leviathan III, edited by Jeff Vandermeer and Forrest Aguirre, Ministry of Whimsy Press, 2002.
Koraci kroz maglu (title means "Steps through the Mist"), Alfa (Belgrade, Serbia), 2003, translation published in Impossible Stories, 2004.
Skrivena Kamera, 2003, translation published as Hidden Camera, Dalkey Archive Press, 2004.
Impossible Stories, Nightshade Press (Tallahassee, FL), 2004.
Also author of other novels, short stories, essay collections published in Serbia. Contributor of short stories to periodicals, including Interzone.
Zivković's books have been translated into Spanish, Russian, Korean, Bulgarian, and Japanese.
Writing in Serbian-Croatian, award-winning fiction writer and translator Zoran Zivković has weathered life under communism and the political transition that transformed Yugoslavia into Serbia and Montenegro. His impressions of these experiences have make their way into much of his written work, which has been praised by critics for its intellect, imagination, and originality. Incorporating elements of both fantasy and science fiction, many of Zivković's novels and short stories focus on the coming of chaos and what New York Times Book Review contributor Gerald Jonas characterized as an "apocalyptic resolution"; reviewing Zivković's 1993 novel The Fourth Circle, Jonas added: "Zivković is a writer who prefers the playful to the profound, the scattering of seeds to the harvest."
In The Fourth Circle Zivković intertwines the strands of ten different stories that transport readers from medieval Europe where a group of painters are completing a church fresco to a desolate future landscape wherein an intelligent computer program named Rama sires a child to give its intellect biological form. As the strands come together, four of Earth's greatest scientific minds—Archimedes, Steven Hawking, Nicholas Tesla, and Ludolph van Ceulen, unbound by time, come together at an abandoned Buddhist temple, called by Rama for a purpose that fictional sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, discern and make clear in what Booklist contributor Regina Schroeder dubbed "a perfectly satisfying conclusion." Noting that Zivković creates a world wherein "Time and space are fluid and perspectives are intriguingly alien and off-kilter," a Publishers Weekly noted that as readers share with the novel's well-known protagonists the experience of coping with mysteries that "exceed the understanding" of their age, they will be engaged by Zivković's "epistemological gymnastics" and The Fourth Circle's "interplay of real and imaginary personalities." As the author explained in an interview with Publishers Weekly contributor Stefan Dziemianowicz, writing The Fourth Circle during a time when his native Yugoslavia was undergoing a brutal civil war "was a kind of welcome escapism. It helped me a great deal to divert my thoughts from the harsh reality I had the bitter privilege of living at that time."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2004, Regina Schroeder, review of The Fourth Circle, p. 1435.
New York Times Book Review, April 18, 2004, Gerald Jonas, review of The Fourth Circle.
Publishers Weekly, February 9, 2004, review of The Fourth Circle and Stefan Dziemianowicz, interview with Zivkovic, p. 63.
Zoran Zivković Web site,http://www.zoranzivkovic.com (April 15, 2004).*