With a per capita publishing rate of more that three times that of the United States, Slovenia has a long and storied literary history, from the legendary 9th-century Freising Manuscripts to postmodern masterpieces by Igor Bratoz. Continuing that tradition, Angels Beneath the Surface, the first collection of Slovene fiction to be published in English outside of Slovenia since 1994, offers a rich sampling of Slovene short stories. The thirteen tales here represent a wide array of voices and writing styles among the country’s renowned–and emergent–writers.
Written between 1990 and 2005, the selections in Angels Beneath the Surface together comprise a vivid snapshot of Slovene literary consciousness at the turn of the millennium. These authors mine their culture for often startling insights in stories that range from wicked variations on fairy tales to dour romances to skewerings of the bureaucratic state.
Recent articles in The New Yorker, The New York Times Book Review, and other prominent publications attest to renewed interest in European literature in translation, and this collection is an incisive entry in the genre.