Sweetlust: Stories

(Author) (Translator)
Product Details
$16.95  $15.76
Feminist Press
Publish Date
4.9 X 7.9 X 0.7 inches | 0.55 pounds

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About the Author
Asja Bakic is a Bosnian author of poetry and prose, as well as a translator. She was selected as one of Literary Europe Live's New Voices from Europe 2017, and her writing has been translated into seven languages. Her debut, Mars, was published in English by Feminist Press in 2019. She currently lives and works in Zagreb, Croatia.

Jennifer Zoble translates Balkan literature into English. Recent books include Call Me Esteban (Sandorf Passage 2021), her translation of Zovite me Esteban by Lejla Kalamujic, and Mars (Feminist Press 2019), which was selected by Publishers Weekly for the fiction list in its "Best Books 2019" issue. She is on the faculty of Liberal Studies at New York University, where she teaches writing and translation.


"Asja Bakic's stories are a dark delight--a treasury of forbidden pleasures, moments of resistance and resilience, and terrifying possibilities." --Strange Horizons

"There's an immediacy to Bakic's offbeat worldview, sometimes strange and surreal, sometimes terrifying and upsetting, that pairs perfectly with the madness of the current political moment." --Locus Magazine

"At turns funny, surreal, and grounded in simple language but flung through twisted realities, the stories in this collection are provocative and utterly readable." --The Brooklyn Rail

"Skillfully disorienting." --BUST

"Nested comfortably in the twilight zone, these stories push familiar scenarios (a cheating spouse, the serial killer next door) into the speculative realm and, in the process, push fiction in the direction of activism." --Literary Hub

"Mars is an expedition, to be sure, and it demands that you hold on with the same force that it holds onto you long light years after it draws to a close." --Paperback Paris

"From the very first story, the exciting plot lines and thought-provoking topics keep you reading and wanting more; however, this book is best taken slowly, with time in between to savor each story." --Asymptote

"Stylistic deftness and unpredictability [continue] throughout this collection. Bakic is after answers to questions that defy explanation." --Words Without Borders

"Brilliant, unsettling explorations of gender, sexuality and genre." --Shelf Awareness

"Bosnian writer Bakic's debut teems with the oddball narratives of George Saunders, the eerie atmosphere of Edgar Allan Poe, and the feminist intellect of Marge Piercy. . . . Told in a straightforward manner that transports speculative fiction into almost realist territory, Bakic's collection imaginatively and strikingly examines sci-fi tropes from not only the point of view of women, but also from the voice of an effortlessly gifted writer whose future is much brighter than that of those depicted in her stories." --Publishers Weekly (starred review)

"Bakic's stories are perfectly of the American short-fiction zeitgeist--dark, sometimes indeterminate, sidestepping realism--but as the afterword points out, there are few writers from the Balkans that make use of the speculative or the dystopian in their work, which makes this collection all the more darkly alluring." --Kirkus Reviews

"Mars showcases Asja Bakic's strong and unique voice. These are sly, uncommon stories--a rare mix of the witty and the visceral, with no small hint of the decadent and transgressive. A major talent." --Jeff VanderMeer, author of Hummingbird Salamander

"Mars is a compelling collection of finely nuanced stories that are equally playful, haunting, erotic, willfully mischievous, profoundly melancholy, and more than a touch perverse. Jennifer Zoble's masterful translation of Asja Bakic's youthfully elastic genre-blending prose is a stunning achievement, and these stories are an absolute pleasure to read." --Donald Breckenridge, author of You Are Here

"Asja Bakic's debut will transport you to another world, one that is as ethereal as it is cryptic. A visceral, imaginative, and deeply satisfying work." --Cristina Rodriguez, Deep Vellum Books

"Unsettling in unsettling ways, Bakic's mix of realism with science fiction and fabulism occupies the uncanny valley between the recognizable and the unrecognizable, unsheathing the weirdness of daily life." --Josh Cook, Porter Square Books

"In the daring, imaginative short stories of Asja Bakic's Sweetlust, strong-minded women fight for survival and search for meaning in disturbing dystopian worlds." --Foreword Reviews, starred review

"Filled with a satisfying energy." --Booklist

"Bakic second collection, following Mars, offers spectral, speculative tales of womanhood's fluidity and ferality. " --Electric Literature"In these stories, the fantastic is a dark mirror of our basest desires that looks back at us, giving us just what we want, regardless of the consequences." --Autostraddle
"Bakic explores science and desire in this delightful and offbeat collection." --Publishers Weekly"Occasionally disturbing and always intoxicating, Sweetlust is well worth the read, and difficult to put down." --BUST

"These stories find Bakic exploring everything from climate change to society and gender, making for a provocative and emotionally engaging read." --Tor

"This is an equal parts weird and skillfully witty collection and very much worth the read." --The Brooklyn Rail

" The incisiveness with which [these stories] are written and the perceptiveness with which they explore their subjects makes for a cohesive and satisfying read." --Words Without Borders

"Vivid yet nuanced, mysterious and sexy, each one of Asja Bakic's stories creates its own dangerous universe. This miraculous collection enraptured me again and again." --Chana Porter, author of The Seep

"Haunting, funny, and delightfully surreal, Asja Bakic's stories push fiction into exciting and unexpected realms of imagination. A visceral dive into the perils and pleasures of the human condition." --Aditi Khorana, author of The Library of Fates

"In Sweetlust, Asja Bakic takes on gender, society, literature, climate change, and time travel with such extraordinary ease that one might be fooled into believing such mastery is easy. The narrative is quick and sharp while, almost deceptively, shedding strange and revelatory light on some of the most intimidating subjects of our age. Evocative of the work of Joyce Carol Oates and Leonora Carrington, Asja Bakic--aided by a brilliant translator--delivers a perfectly discordant punch to the gut of matters few dare touch. Truly fearless writing strikes real fear in the heart of a reader, and in this way, Sweetlust is a truly frightful book, and Asja Bakic a singular terror." --Lina Ferreira Cabeza-Vanegas, author of Don't Come Back

"Sweetlust rollicks and seethes with a rakish energy, part hilarious, part bone-chilling. Translated brilliantly by Jennifer Zoble, these stories zip back and forth across the centuries. Never a dull moment! --Ellen Elias-Bursac, translator

"As she did in her acclaimed debut Mars, Bakic once again upends her characters' convictions and identities--and infuses each disorienting universe with sly humor and off-kilter eroticism." --Sara Luce Look, Charis Books & More