Miro Gavran

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Miro Gavran (mǐːro ɡâʋraːn) is a contemporary Croatian writer of short stories, fiction and drama. His works have been translated into 40 languages, making him the most translated Croatian writer,[1] and his books have come out in 200 different editions at home and abroad. His dramas and comedies have had more than 330 theatre first nights around the world and have been seen by more than two million theatre attendants.


Miro Gavran was born May 3, 1962.[2] He debuted in 1983 with the drama Creon's Antigone, speaking out forcefully about political manipulation. This was followed three years later by the drama Night of the Gods, the theme being the relationship between the artist and the powers-that-be under a totalitarian system. He then wrote a cycle of plays concentrating on male-female relations, in which his heroes were often great historical persons. He has created a series of complex female characters. His heroines are both strong and emotional. He has written some forty plays to date, including Death of an Actor, All About Women, All About Men, George Washington's Loves, Chekhov Says Good-Bye to Tolstoy, How To Kill The President, Greta Garbo's Secret, Parallel Worlds, Nora in Our Time, My Wife's Husband, Dr Freud's Patient...

"Creon's Antigone", "Night of the Gods" and "George Washington's Loves" have been listed by the German publisher Anton Hiersemann in their selection of best theatrical works for the period between 2000 and 2003.[3]

He is the only living dramatist in Europe to have a theatre festival devoted solely to his plays outside his/her homeland; the Gavranfest has been held in Slovakia since 2003.

There have been first nights of his plays throughout the world, in: Rotterdam, Washington, D.C., Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Buenos Aires, Waterford, Mumbai, Bratislava, Prague, Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Krakow, Belgrade, Budapest, Athens, Augsburg, Vienna and Sofia.

In 2010 he was named one of the nominees for the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award.[4][5]

He managed to get ten of his novels published: Forgotten Son, How We Broke Our Legs, Klara, Margita or A Journey into a Former Life, Judith, John the Baptist, Pontius Pilate and The Only Witness to Beauty, along with a collection of short stories entitled Small Unusual People. Last novel is "A Few Birds and One Sky".

In his early novels, he describes life in the Croatian provinces, featuring everyday folk, anti-heroes of sorts, who retain a positive stance towards life even when they are confronted with injustice and major difficulties. This is perhaps best seen in his novel, Forgotten Son (1989), in which the central personage is a slightly mentally challenged young man of twenty.

As a forty-year-old, Gavran started to write psychological-existential novels inspired by biblical characters, bringing them nearer to the sensibilities of contemporary readers. These books have been popular with both believers and non-believers, since their messages are universal.

Gavran has received more than twenty literary awards in Croatia and abroad, including the CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME Award, given annually in Budapest to the best Central European author for overall opus, as well as the EUROPEAN CIRCLE Award given to writers for the confirmation of European values in their texts.

With insight and humour, Miro Gavran has written eight books for children and young people: All Sorts of Things in My Head, How Dad Won Mum, Head Over Heels in Love, Happy Days, Farewell Letter, Plays with a Head and a Tail, Try to Forget and The Teacher of My Dreams. These books have also found their way to adult readers.

Gavran earned his degree in Dramaturgy at the Academy of Theatre, Film and Television in Zagreb.

He first worked as a dramaturge and theatre director at the famous ITD Theatre in Zagreb. Since 1993, he has been living and working as a free-lance, professional writer. His theatre and prose texts have been included in numerous anthologies in Croatia and in countries outside its borders, and his work is studied at universities throughout the world.

He has been living in Zagreb, Croatia since he was twenty. He is married to the actress Mladena Gavran, and founded the GAVRAN Theatre with her in 2002. Their son Jakov is an actor.


  • Forgotten Son
  • How We Broke Our Legs
  • Clara
  • Margite
  • Judith
  • John the Baptist
  • Pontius Pilate
  • The Only Witness to Beauty
  • Kafka's Friend
  • A Few Birds and One Sky

Theatrical plays[edit]

  • 1983. Creon's Antigone
  • 1986. Night of the Gods
  • 1988. George Washington's loves
  • 1989. Chekhov says good-bye to Tolstoy
  • 1990. Royalty and rogues
  • 1991. My wife's husband
  • 1993. Dr. Freud's patient
  • 1994. Shakespeare and Elizabeth
  • 1995. Death of an actor
  • 1997. Forget Hollywood
  • 2000. All about women
  • 2003. How to kill the president
  • 2005. Nora in our time
  • 2006. All about men
  • 2007. Parallel worlds
  • 2008. Greta Garbo's secret
  • 2009. The craziest show in the world
  • 2011. Couples
  • 2012. The Doll


  1. ^ "Tko su najprevođivaniji hrvatski pisci?". poslovni.hr (in Croatian). 15 June 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2016.
  2. ^ IMDb.com
  3. ^ "Miro Gavran uvršten u izbor najboljih svjetskih dramatičara" [Miro Gavran listed as one of the world's best dramatists]. Jutarnji list (in Croatian). 2007-04-16. Archived from the original on 2011-02-21. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  4. ^ "Miro Gavran nominiran za literarnu nagradu vrijednu 560.000 eura" (in Croatian). 2010-10-15. Retrieved 2010-11-25.
  5. ^ "List of the 2011 nominees". The Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award - ALMA. Retrieved 2010-11-25.

External links[edit]