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Slovenia Novels

The Tree with No Name

Drago Jančar

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Slovenia Novels

The Tree with No Name

Drago Jančar


Drago Jančar, born in Maribor, Slovenia, in 1948. He studied law, and worked as a journalist, editor and freelance writer. In 1985, he spent time in the USA as a Fulbright fellow, and in 1988 in Germany. Slovenia's most prominent author has been described as “the seismologist of a chaotic history.” His novels and short stories have been translated and published in many European languages and in the USA. His plays have also seen a number of foreign productions.

In 2003, he was awarded the Herder Prize for literature. Other awards:

  • Jean Améry Prize for Essays, Frankfurt Book Fair 2007.
  • Hemingway Prize, Lignano, Italy 2009.
  • Le Prix Européen de Littérature, Strasbourg 2011
  • Prix du Meilleur Livre Étranger (Prize for the Best Foreign Book – I Saw Her That Night), Paris 2014.
  • Austrian State Prize for European Literature, Salzburg 2020


A diary recounting four decades’ worth of sexual exploits, the memoir of a mental institution attendant, and a familiar-looking bicycle dredged out of a river – the discovery of these artifacts sends an archivist on an obsessive quest to discover their owners’ identities and fates. Shifting between Slovenia’s postcommunist present and its wartime occupation by the Axis powers, The Tree with No Name is Drago Jančar’s masterpiece: a compelling and universally significant story of an individual confronting the constraints set on truth by his – and every – culture.


Jančar, one of Slovenia’s foremost writers, skilfully infuses even the most mundane events with foreboding, dread and paranoia.

Publishers Weekly

As a novelist and a master of short prose, Jančar reveals deep human social and psychological traumas and — like his Central European literary and spiritual relatives, Franz Kafka, Gunter Grass, or Milan Kundera — finds no escape from the unclear, primal, and evil human lot… A unique, ethically sensitive, and politically independent thinker.

Slavic and East European Journal