I present to you the 10 best books in Serbian literature. As someone who likes to read a lot, I have read hundreds of books of Serbian literature and I can tell you that these books deserve their place at the top.
Top 10 books in Serbian literature
Let’s start from number 10 and slowly go up to number 1 itself, that is. the best books in Serbian literature in my opinion.
“Na Drini cuprija”
In the 10th place is “Na Drini cuprija” by Ivo Andrić, an epic story about the bridge in Višegrad that connects east and West. Since its publication in 1945, this novel has sold more than a million copies.
The next is “Gorski venac” by Petr Petrović Njegoš from 1847. This drama describes the struggle of Montenegrins against the Turks in a specific verse. Even today, almost 200 years later, Njegoš remains one of the most beloved poets among the Balkan peoples. Mountain wreath has been translated into several languages, including Chinese and Japanese.
In position 8 is the masterpiece of Serbian literature – “Necista krv” by Bora Stanković from 1910. This novel is among the most significant works of Serbian realism in general. The plot follows the fate of a young man from a lower class and his forbidden love with a girl from a rich family. Through the characters and their tragic end, Stanković masterfully portrays the society and mentality of the people at that time.
In 7th place, we have the book “Seoba” by Miloš Crnjanski from 1929. This modernist novel follows the fate of Serbs who left their homes at the beginning of the 18th century. The work is full of lyricism and nostalgia.
The next in the series of popularity is “Korenje” by Dobrica Ćosić from 1975. The first part of the famous trilogy describes the life of the Katic family in Srem from 1918 to 1941. A realistic depiction of history through the prism of an ordinary person.
The fifth position is held by the novel “Zlatno runo” by Jovan Dučić from 1921. The plot follows the fate of Raško Tomić, a Bosnian Serb who becomes a rich and famous writer in America. But the homeland is constantly pulling him.
Milorad Pavić’s “Khazar dictionary” from 1984 received the bronze. This unique book is written in the form of an alphabetically indexed dictionary about the Khazars and their history. Pure innovation and craftsmanship.
In 2nd place is the novel “Prokleta avlija” also by Nobel laureate Ivo Andrić from 1954. It is a story about a prison in Istanbul and the psychological profile of the people whose fate takes them there. A morbid and fascinating read.
A Time of Death
And finally, the best Serbian book in my opinion is “A Time of Death” by Dobrica Ćosić from 1972. This novel somehow directly influenced the breakup of Yugoslavia, it so powerfully triggered Serbian national feelings. Controversial but influential in the Serbian nation.
This is what the complete list of the 10 most favourite works of Serbian literature looks like, at least in my humble opinion. I hope you will find the time to read these must-have classics that every fan of reading in Serbian should have in their library.
How to buy Serbian books abroad
Now, how to buy Serbian books abroad? You might be wondering where to buy books in Serbian language. Here are some options for you.
The easiest way is to visit Serbian bookstores in your country. According to the 2022 survey, Serbs run 111 bookstores worldwide, from Chicago to Melbourne. If you have a Serbian community in your town, it probably has a Serbian bookstore.
If you don’t have a local bookstore, you can always order books online. The publisher Globland Books has a large collection of Serbian books that it sends around the world. They sell Serbian literature books even through Amazon, the world’s most popular online bookstore.
Are e-books available in Serbian?
E-books exist in Serbian, although there are fewer of them than English e-books. Several thousand titles are available in electronic format in the Serbian language.
E-books in Serbian are mostly sold by large online bookstores of the previously mentioned Globland. They often offer discounts, so it’s worth checking out what they have on offer.
Some Serbian publishers also offer direct sales of e-books on their websites. But for the biggest selection, online bookstores are your best bet.
The most famous literary Serbian writers
We cannot talk about Serbian literature without mentioning some of the literary icons who shaped it. Writers like Ivo Andrić, Miloš Crnjanski and Dobrica Ćosić remain the number one reading for many Serbs around the world.
Ivo Andrić is perhaps the most famous, even receiving the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1961. His novels, including “Na Drini cuprija”, study the destinies of people in the turbulent times of Serbian history.
Miloš Crnjanski is another great man, best known for his autobiographical novel about Cernojevic. His works are characterized by a lyrical, modernist style of writing.
Dobrica Ćosić writes about the difficult fate of the Serbian people, especially during the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. His books are controversial but popular.