Books for the Road: Croatia

With its exponential growth in tourism over the past few years, Croatia is a destination that travelers flock to for its white sand beaches, stunning national parks, and relative affordability. However, what many visitors don’t realize is that it is steeped in ancient history, from its early kingdom status, to rule by the Venetians, Ottomans and Hapsburgs, to its recent transition from Yugoslavia to the independent republic that it is today. Before you go, check out these 5 books on Croatia and be sure to save a couple for the road!

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A Traveller’s History of Croatia

Benjamin Curtis

This in-depth look at Croatian history – from pre-modern days to the 21stcentury – gives you an idea of just how complex the region is and why society and culture is what it is today. Though a true non-fiction, this book is well-written and endlessly interesting including numerous maps and drawing.


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Café Europa: Life After Communism

Slavenka Drakulic

Gloria Steinem is quoted in saying that Slavenka Drakulic “is a writer and journalist whose voice belongs to the world.” Café Europa is a collection of essays that explores life after communism and gives insight into the café culture in Croatia’s big cities.  Another of her books, How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed, provides further into her experience under the Marxist regime and how she and other women carried through.

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Zagreb Noir

Ivan Sršen (Editor)

This renown selection of crime stories features translation from Croatia authors including Ivan Vidic, Robert Perišic, Pilic, Darko Milošic, and Nora Verde. The stories are each set in a particular neighborhood, offering various insights into the modern, contemporary capital city of Zagreb.

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Girl at War: A Novel

Sara Nović 

Though a novel, this story is akin to many who experienced life as a child in Zagreb during the summer of 1991. The protagonist Ana’s idyllic childhood changes in an instant when civil war breaks out and her family escapes to America. After college in New York, Ana returns to her homeland to peel back the layers of her past.

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The Hired Man

Aminatta Forna

This prolific writer delivers a novel acclaimed for its perceptive storytelling of a Croatian village and the lives of its residents after the War of Independence. Love, loss, hostility and truth are themes in the quest for peace in a post-war era. 

Interested in traveling to Croatia? Join our Nature Escape Croatia itinerary!