Academician Goran Petrović passed away

It is with great sadness that the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts announces the passing of its full member Goran Petrović (b. Kraljevo, 1 July 1961) on 26 January 2024, one of the most notable Serbian writers.

He studied Yugoslav and Serbian literature at the Faculty of Philology of the University of Serbia. As a librarian, he worked at Žiča branch of the Public Library. He was editor-in-chief of Povelja magazine in the period between 2003 and 2010, as well as the director of publishing activities of the Public Library ’Stefan Prvovenčani’. He also worked as the editor of the JP Službeni Glasnik.

He entered the literature scene with the book of short stories ’Saveti za lakši život’ [Advice for an Easier Life] in 1989, followed by the novel ’Atlas opisan nebom’ [An Atlas Traced by the Sky] in 1993, a collection of short stories ’Ostrovo i okolne priče’ [An Island and Ambient Stories] in 1996, a novel ’Opsada crkve Svetog Spasa’ [The Siege of the Church of St. Salvation,] and another novel ’Sitničarnica kod ’Srećne ruke’’ [At the Lucky Hand: aka The Sixty-Nine Drawers] in 2000 which granted him the NIN Award. Pretty quickly, he became quite popular among the literature public and critics, who recognized him as a style virtuoso.

He published the following: a collection of short stories ’Bližnji’ [A Fellow Being] in 2002, a short prose selection titled ’Sve što znam o vremenu’ [Everything I know about Time] in 2004, a collection of short stories ’Razlike’ [Differences] in 2006, a book of essays ’Pretraživač’ [Browser] in 2007, a novel ’Ispod tavanice koja se ljuspa’ [Beneath the Peeling Ceiling] in 2010, a book of selected stories ’Porodične storije’ [Family Stories] in 2011, play ’Matica’ [The Nut] in 2011, a collection of selected stories ’Unutrašnje dvorište’ [Inner Courtyard] in 2018. His last two novels titled ’Papir sa vodenim znakom’ [Watermarked Paper] and ’Ikonostas sveg poznatog sveta’ [Iconostasis] which received  the ’Belgrade Victor’ Award and ’Vladan Desnica Award’ from the National Library of Serbia, were conceived as parts of a several-volume novel titled ’Roman Delta’ [Delta Novel].

His works have been published in over 130 editions, 60 of which are translated into French, Russian, Spanish, German, Italian, Bulgarian, Slovenian, Polish, Ukrain, Macedonian, English, Dutch, Arab and Persian (Farsi). There are around twenty short stories in anthologies of Serbian stories both in Serbia and abroad.

As a corresponding member of the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts, he was elected in 2012 and a full member in 2018. As for the SASA positions, he was a member of the Academy Board for Culture and Arts, president of the Managing Board of the Nikola Trajković Fund, vice-president of the Managing Board of the Branko Ćopić Fund, Expert Council of the SASA Library, Expert council of the SASA Audiovisual Archives and Centre for Digitization. He was also a member of the Managing Board of the Ivo Andrić Foundation, the Serbian Literary Association, and the Serbian PEN Centre.

In addition to the above-mentioned awards, he received the following for his literary achievements: a scholarship for literature from the Borislav Pekić Foundation, the ’Meša Selimović’ Award, the “Vital” Award, the ’Račanska povelja’ Award, the National Library of Serbia Award for the Most Read Book of the Year, the ’Borisav Stanković’ Award, the ’Svetozar Ćorović’ Award, the ’Ivo Andrić’ Award for a short story,  the ’Laza Kostić’ Award, the ’Kočićeva knjiga’ Award for the best play, the Ivo Andrić Foundation Grand Prix Award for the overall literature achievements, the Ramonda Serbica Award and the Vuk Foundation Award.

With his rich and genre-diverse opus which was characterized by theme innovativeness and lyric sophistication of style, Petrović became a classic of modern Serbian literature.

His passing is a great loss for the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts and the overall Serbian society and culture.