our man in iraq
By Robert Perišić
Matchmaking Literature and Film 2018
Naš čovjek na terenu
Our Man in Iraq
Robert Perišić (born 1969 in Split, Croatia) is a Croatian writer. He graduated in Literature and Croatian language from the University of Zagreb. Since the beginning of the 1990s he has written poetry, short stories and play, as well as literary reviews in various Croatian magazines.
LOGLINE of the book
A newspaper editor sends a journalist he trusts into a war. Things go wrong. He tries to fix it, but instead his life falls apart.
synopsis of the book / STORY
As Croatia lurches from socialism into globalized capitalism, Toni, a cocky journalist in Zagreb, struggles to balance his fragile career, pushy family, and hotheaded girlfriend. But in a moment of vulnerability he makes a mistake: volunteering his unhinged Arabic-speaking cousin Boris to report on the Iraq War. Boris begins filing Gonzo missives from the conflict zone and Toni decides it is better to secretly rewrite his cousin’s increasingly incoherent ramblings than face up to the truth. But when Boris goes missing, Toni’s own sense of reality— and reliability—begins to unravel.
The novel's protagonist lives in a closed-up society in which freedom is a relative term, and this subject surpasses journalism as such; this is how things are in all areas of life or work. From civil engineering to literature, the space has been parceled.
pUBLISHER company profile
Sandorf Publishing is registered as Sandorf Publishing and Literary Agency in 2007 and it consists of two sections – publishing and literary agency. From the very beginning Sandorf wanted to engage in independent publishing so the publishing plan for each year consists of twenty titles the editors consider necessary to release.
Ivan Sršen (born 1979) was born in Zagreb, where he finished university in 2004, receiving Masters degree in History and Linguistics. He is a head of an independent publishing house Sandorf, but also an editor, translator, writer and literary agent who has been in the publishing business ever since he was working in an independent bookstore while in college to earn for his spare time travels.
MAIN AWARDS / FESTIVALS OF WRITER
Robert Perišić's novel “Naš čovjek na terenu” ('Our Man in Iraq’), published in 2007, was a bestseller in Croatia and received the prestigious Croatian literary award 'Jutarnji list'. The German edition of the novel (‘Unser Mann vor Ort’) also received ‘Literaturpreis der Steiermärkischen Sparkasse 2011’ in Graz, Austria.
PAST MAIN PUBLICATIONS OF WRITER
Castle America (Dvorac Amerika), poetry
You Can Spit On The One Who’ll Ask For Us (Možeš pljunuti onoga tko bude pitao za nas), short stories
Horror and Huge Expenses (Užas i veliki troškovi), short stories
Our Man in Iraq (Naš čovjek na terenu), novel
Introduction to Funny Dance (Uvod u smiješni ples), autobiographical prose Sometime Later (Jednom kasnije), poetry
Culture in Suburb (Kultura u predgrađu), play (staged 2000-2002. in Drama Theatre "Gavella", Zagreb)
100 Minutes of Glory (100 minuta Slave), screenplay, film director Dalibor Matanić
No Signal Area (Područje bez signala), novel, 2015
MAIN BIBLIOGRAPHY & SELECTION IN MAIN FESTIVALS OF PUBLISHER
In October 2011 Sandorf and its Serbian co-publisher Red Box received the Special Award of the Belgrade Intl. Book Fair for 2011 for the joint project of Croatian translation of 'Gay Life and Culture: A World History' by R. Aldrich.
In 2016 Sandorf published new novels by a number of Croatian authors who won most important national literary awards (O. Savičević, T. Gromača, M. Koščec, R. Perišić, etc.). In 2017 five novels were shortlisted for the main national literary awards. 'Sjećanje šume' by Damir Karakaš won biggest literary award 'Fric'.
AUDIOVISUAL RIGHTS HIGHLIGHTS BY PUBLISHER
TV and film rights for Perišić's second novel 'No Signal Area' were sold to production company Kinorama.
Drama / Thriller / Novel
'Our Man in Iraq' is set in Zagreb, Croatia in mid 2000s, before the beginning of the World Econimic Crisis, when prospects of economic growth and prosperity in Central and eastern Europe were pretty high. War in Iraq is juxtaposed to this atmosphere as an unknown, somewhat chaotic field subjected to the various media interpretations.
Croatian, English, German, French
Set in Zagreb during 2003, Our Man in Iraq follows Toni, a journalist who is besieged by his rural relatives with requests for work. Succumbing to his mother's nagging, Toni arranges for his cousin Boris to cover the ongoing U.S invasion of Iraq despite his lasting shell shock from the Croatian War of Independence. As Boris's reports from Iraq become increasingly strange, Toni secretly rewrites them until they cease coming in altogether and Boris goes missing. Toni is forced to keep Boris's disappearance from his family and his newspaper while negotiating his own romantic, cultural and professional hurdles in a nation that is awkwardly progressing from socialism to global capitalism.
PROMOTIONAL MATERIAL AVAILABLE
• "Robert Perisic depicts, with acerbic wit, a class of urban elites who are trying to reconcile their nineties rebellion with the reality of present-day Croatia. . . . The characters' snide remarks could easily sound cynical but the novel has a levity informed by the sense of social fluidity that comes with democracy." —The New Yorker
• "Despite the serious themes, the novel is largely comic and in many ways falls into the same genre of satirical anti-war novels that includes The Good Soldier by Jaroslav Hasek and Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse Five. Perisic constructs a series of long and entertaining scenes full of quirky dialogue and rhythmic interior monologue." —The Times Literary Supplement
• "Robert Perisic is a light bright with intelligence and twinkling with irony, flashing us the news that postwar Croatia not only endures but matters."— Jonathan Franzen
• "Overall, though, this smart, cutting book powerfully illustrates the horrible hangover of war. " – Publishers Weekly http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-936787-05-0
• "Given the uncountable billions of words they have dedicated to the war in Iraq, it might be easy for Americans to think of it as belonging solely to them. Even its possession by the Iraqis can feel tenuous at times. So it is a refreshing reminder of the new global village to read a novel like Robert Perisic’s “Our Man in Iraq,” which studies the fighting in Baghdad from the distant shores of Croatia. " – The Boston Globe http://www.bostonglobe.com/arts/books/2013/04/11/book-review-our-man-iraq- robert-perisic/Lj7GW46dp2uUrDf9EK9JYO/story.html
• "With formidable insight, élan and a noir-ish relish of backstreet manoeuvres, Perišic asks how a nation can move on after conflict, how citizens can overcome the feeling that “Whoever survived all that Balkan shit, whoever breathed the fumes of that hell, had to feel defeat.” – Prospect Magazine http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/blog/robert-perisic-our-man-in-iraq- review/#.UtUyHPvZjbo
• "When I say Our Man in Iraq is likely to be the best novel you’ve ever read by a
Croatian writer, I’m not just cynically gambling that you’ve never read any
Croatian novels; or rather, I’m doing it secure in the knowledge that Robert
Perisic’s first novel (originally published in 2007) is also terrifically witty and
original. " – Toronto Star http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/books/2013/04/12/our_man_in_iraq_by_robert_perisic_review.html
• "This jivey—and I should say x-rated—story stays with us." - Critic Alan
Cheuse on NPR http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=182656435
• "American readers should delight in discovering Perisic’s work, while lamenting this inexplicable delay. " – ZYZZYVA http://www.zyzzyva.org/2013/05/07/the-absurdity-of-war-the-absurdity-of-the- media-robert-perisics-our-man-in-iraq/
• "It is a thoroughly enjoyable and thought-provoking story, which, while recalling some of the comic greats that have gone before, add its own brave, quirky and refreshing perspective to the tradition. An unexpected delight. " – A Year od Reading the World
FILM AND TV REFERENCES (Sample films)
Evelyn Waugh's novel 'Scoop' was a loose motive for Woody Allen's movie 'Scoop' in 2006. Both works are based on the same subject of the inner world of journalism.
FIND OUT MORE
The book has been published all over the world ranging from countries like Germany and Sweden to Egypt and Ethiopia.
TARGET AUDIENCE AGE
TARGET AUDIENCE PROFILE
College-educated men and women above 30 years old, current affairs enthusiasts, wide range of employees in media and creative industries.
LOCATIONS IN WHICH STORY TAKES PLACE
Zagreb and Iraq (war zone)
AGE IN WHICH STORY TAKES PLACE
TV (Film and Series) Cinema / Internet / Theatre / Webseries / Musical
AVAILABLE RIGHTS FOR TERRITORIES
Sandorf - Ivan Sršen
Other information connected to the project at the Matchmakingforum at : firstname.lastname@example.org