Portrait of Gabriela Babnik
Winning Book Image
Sušna doba

Gabriela Babnik est née en 1979 à Göppingen, en Allemagne. Après avoir étudié la littérature comparée et la théorie littéraire à la faculté des arts de l’université de Ljubljana en 2005, elle a obtenu un diplôme de master en étude du roman nigérian moderne en 2010. Depuis 2002, elle rédige régulièrement des critiques littéraires, des interviews, des commentaires, des rapports et des essais pour des magazines et suppléments littéraires et culturels, notamment Literatura, Mentor, Ekran, Poetikon, Književni listi et Pogledi.

Son premier roman, Koža iz bombaža (en français, litt. : « Peau de coton  »), est paru en 2007 et a reçu le Prix du meilleur premier roman à la Foire du livre slovène cette même année. Son deuxième roman, V visoki travi (« Dans les hautes herbes »), est paru en 2009 et a été sélectionné pour le Prix Kresnik du meilleur roman de l’année en 2010.Son troisième roman, Sušna doba (2012; La Saison sèche, pour la traduction française), a été recompensée du Prix de littérature de l’Union européenne en 2013 et a été traduit en 13 langues. L’édition anglaise, Dry season, a été sélectionnée pour le prix de littérature international de Berlin et, en 2016, a été cite dans le top 6 des meilleurs romans traduits dans l’UE. Son roman Intimno (« Intimement »), publié chez Beletrina en 2015, a été sélectionné l’année suivante pour le Kresnik Award. Au printemps 2019, son nouveau roman Tri smrti (en français, « Trois morts ») est publié.

En tant que critique littéraire, Gabriela Babnik a été récompensée par le prix “Josip Stritar” décerné aux jeunes critiques en 2013. Elle écrit également des pièces radiophoniques et des nouvelles.

Depuis 2015, elle est vice-président de l’Association des écrivains slovènes se déplace régulièrement entre la Slovénie et l’Afrique avec sa famille.

EUPL Country

Agent / Rights Director

Publishing House

Translation Deals

Translation Deals
  • Albania: Botime Pegi
  • Bulgaria: Prozoretz
  • Croatia: Sandorf
  • France: DSP - Literae Slovenicae
  • Germany:  Schenk Verlag
  • Greece: Vakxikon Publications
  • Hungary: Napkut Kiado
  • Italia: Mimesis Editore
  • Latvia: Sia Lasitava
  • Netherlands: De Geus
  • North Macedonia: Knigoizdatelstvo Antolog 
  • Romania:  Editura Darclée
  • Serbia: Vulkan
  • UK: Istros Books



Translated by Olivia Hellewell

I don’t know how much time I spent with Malik in Cotonou; a week, two, a month, year – this time was somehow deleted for me. Whilst waiting for school to end the two of us lived with some French lady called Julie Amado. She could have been the fleeting woman from Black Street with hair tied-up high, a slender back which at the inner of her body opened out into the shape of a letter ‘s’, and a slow gait, too slow even for her age. It betrayed her, that gait; it spoke of her vague past or at least of her excessive proclivity to melancholia. But after much thought I decided that it couldn’t have been the same person. Malik couldn’t have things under such supervision and also Julie herself seemed completely crazy. For instance she didn’t sleep at night, with her huge bed being overrun by cats; she sat alone in the chair with her feet on the bed, whilst all the cats – there must have been more than twenty of them – slept on her lap and in amongst plates of rotting fish.
I didn’t ask Malik where he met Julie, nor what the two of us were doing at her place. As far as I understood, we were waiting. Malik had otherwise introduced Julie to me as a friend, who knew how to form sentences and who was therefore writing a novel. He had even thought up a title for her, Once Again, the Sea, or something like that, and Julie was thrilled. She offered me a typewriter, a large, black, antiquated animal, which upon typing gave out a menacing sound and it consumed paper, with the trees going into its oblong mouth in tens. At such tense moments I leapt from behind the table and began to pull the paper, at first carefully, but then more and more furiously, with the torn up pieces flying through the air like snowflakes, we are the like snow which eventually ceases to fall, I murmured a sentence to myself which I still don’t know where I picked up, but after a few days the machine gave way, the tropical rainforests were saved, the landscape unfrozen whilst for me everything had only just begun. Julie began to tell me her stories all over every corner of the house. Maybe to some degree they were interesting enough for me to churn out a book about them. But I declined, seeing as in reality I had no idea how to construct sentences, Malik had just made that up, but she carried on leaning her back against the wall, biting into a baguette and some holey cheese, and recounted. It was how I learnt of how she came to Cotonou as a volunteer teacher a year earlier. But because things didn’t work out - she said it just like that, I remember exactly – she had left her job.

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