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Josip Novakovich (Croatian: Novaković) is a Croatian Canadian writer.
Novakovich's great grandparents immigrated from the Austro-Hungarian Empire to Cleveland, Ohio at a time when the smog was so thick one couldn't see the sun at high noon. His family was poor; old-timers from their Slavic neighborhood in Cleveland can remember seeing Mary, his great grandmother, carrying her babies in the streets, her feet bare in midwinter. At the end of the First World War, his grandfather, having met and married a wife of Slovenian descent, immigrated back to the old country, to a new Slavic nation formed in the aftermath of the war, Yugoslavia. Unfortunately, during the hardships of the Second World War, his grandparents split, one becoming an atheist, preaching against all wars, and the other, his grandmother, becoming a communist nurse. At war's end, she returned to Cleveland alone. Novakovich's mother, Ruth, who was born in Cleveland, was married at the time and remained in Yugoslavia. Josip Novakovich was born in Yugoslavia (in 1956) and grew up in the central Croatian town of Daruvar near the Hungarian border under the authoritarian rule of Tito. (In 1991, this territory became a part of the independent Croatian Republic.) Novakovich studied medicine at the University of Novi Sad in Serbia. In spite of or to spite his good results at the university, at the age of 20 Novakovich moved to the USA, continuing his education at Vassar College (B.A.), Yale University (M.Div.), and the University of Texas, Austin (M.A.).
He has published a novel (April Fool's Day), three short story collections (Yolk, Salvation and Other Disasters, Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust), four collections of narrative essays (Apricots from Chernobyl, Plum Brandy: Croatian Journey, Three Deaths, and Shopping for a Better Country); and two textbooks (Writing Fiction Step by Step, Fiction Writer's Workshop) and hundreds of short stories and essays.
Novakovich is a recipient of the Whiting Award, a Guggenheim fellowship, two fellowships from the National Endowment of the Arts, panelist of National Endowment of the Arts, an award from the Ingram Merrill Foundation, and an American Book Award from the Before Columbus Foundation. Novakovich was a finalist for The Man Booker International Prize in 2013. He was anthologized in Best American Poetry, Pushcart Prize (three times), and O.Henry Prize Stories. Kirkus Reviews called Novakovich "the best American short stories writer of the decade".
Novakovich has taught at Nebraska Indian Community College, Bard College, Moorhead State University, Antioch University Los Angeles, creative writing at the University of Cincinnati, and Pennsylvania State University. He is currently in Montreal, Quebec teaching at Concordia University, where his son Joseph studies cello performance and abstract mathematics at McGill University and his daughter Eva studies at the arts high school FACE.
- Yolk. Graywolf Press. 1995. ISBN 978-1-55597-229-5.
- Salvation and Other Disasters. Graywolf Press. 1998. ISBN 978-1-55597-271-4.
- April Fool's Day: A Novel. Harper. 2004. ISBN 978-0-06058-397-2.
- Infidelities: Stories of War and Lust. Harper Perennial. 2005. ISBN 978-0-06058-399-6.
- Apricots from Chernobyl. Graywolf Press. 1995. ISBN 978-1-55597-212-7.
- Plum Brandy: Croation Journeys. White Pine Press. 2003. ISBN 978-1-89399-657-1.
- Three Deaths. Snare. 2010. ISBN 978-0-98657-651-5.
- Shopping for a Better Country. Dzanc Books. 2012. ISBN 978-1-93687-306-7.
- Fiction Writer's Workshop. Story Press. 1995. ISBN 978-1-88491-003-6.
- Writing Fiction Step by Step. Story Press. 1998. ISBN 978-1-88491-035-7.
- "Night Guests," The Barcelona Review, May-June 2006
- "Ideal Goalie," The Barcelona Review, July-August 2006
- "Layered Take. Josip Novakovich’s Three Deaths Slices Up Grim Reaping". The Link. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- "10 Writers Are Given Whiting Awards". The New York Times. 31 October 1997. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- "Josip Novakovich". The Man Booker Prize. 2012. Retrieved 4 June 2013.
- The Bradenton Times Award-Winning Author Josip Novakovich to Speak at New College
- "US Embassy, Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Host Sofia Literary Day: US Embassy, Elizabeth Kostova Foundation Host Sofia Literary Day - Novinite.com - Sofia News Agency". Novinite.com. Retrieved 10 December 2010.
- "A View from Pulkovo," Gulf Coast: A Journal of Literature and Fine Arts 25.1 (2012).
- Josip Novakovich at the Concordia University Department of English
- Profile at The Whiting Foundation
- Cincinnati Magazine, Dec 1998, p. 57
- http://www.matis.hr/zbornici/2001/Text/Text4-1.htm Hrvatski iseljenički zbornik 2001., Vladimir P. Goss: Hrvatski duh u engleskom ruhu (summary in English CROATIAN SPIRIT IN ENGLISH ATTIRE )