Introduction for Dragan Todorovic


author photo

book cover
The highlight of the presentation ceremony is the introduction of the authors by distinguished individuals.


Tanya Trafford, past Senior Editor at Random House Canada introduced Dragan Todorovicís book The Book of Revenge for which she was also acquiring editor.


I was thrilled to learn that The Book of Revenge had been nominated for this award celebrating creative non-fiction in Canada.

Part of my challenge after acquiring the book was convincing the sales and publicity departments how special it was. I understood their reluctance, although my own had less to do with current and not-so-current events. The manuscript had languished in my office for a few days (okay, maybe a bit longer) until Anne Collins, the publisher at Random House, came in and asked, "Have you read that Serbian journalist's book yet?" "No," I admitted. "You should. It might be good." Magic words.

I hadn't read it yet because I was a bit afraid of it. It wasn't so much fear of reading about the atrocities that had occurred in Yugoslavia, but more my shame of knowing almost nothing about it, the country or the political climate.

But what I discovered, from the very first page, was that I was in the hands of a master storyteller. Here was a tale, well crafted and as engaging as any novel, of a little boy growing up poor but happy, obsessed with comics and the Wild West. What follows is a compelling personal examination of a country that no longer exists. The author draws us into his world, introduces us to his Yugoslavia, and as his country crumbles around him, he makes our hearts ache along with his own. (One thing I did not expect: this book is funny!)

So who was this guy, writing with a poet's lyrical beauty but who clearly had a rock-and-roll soul and the ability to live life to the fullest? Dragan Todorovic is a man of many talents-first and foremost a writer, with many books of poetry, a few biographies and thousands of journalistic pieces already to his name, but he's also a graphic artist, radio producer and TV personality. (He recently did a sound-art piece for CBC Radio entitled "In My Language I Am Smart.")

The Book of Revenge is the result of the author facing his memories and asking the questions: How did this happen? Where did my country go? What's to stop it from happening somewhere else?

I am so proud to have been a part of sending The Book of Revenge out into the world. This book is an important historical document, a universal story that challenges the reader to speak up, to act, to never stop paying attention.

It is my great pleasure to introduce Dragan Todorovic.
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2015 Longlist


BC's National Award for Non-Fiction information


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