Dževad Karahasan

A House for the Wearied - Five Stories

(Original Bosnian title: Kuca za Umorne. Pjesme oljubavi u smrti)
(German title: Ein Haus für die Müden)
ca. 250 pages
Dževad Karahasan
Foto: Dževad Karahasan
© Isolde Ohlbaum

Dževad Karahasan, born in Duvno/Yugoslavia in 1953, is an author, playwright and essayist. The Siege of Sarajevo was the subject of the diary Exodus from a City (1993), translated into ten languages, of the essay collection entitled The Book of Gardens (2004) and of his novels The Rink of Shahrijar (1997) and Sara and Serafina (2000). His works also include the novel The Nocturnal Council (2006), Reports from a Dark World (200), a collection of stories, as well as The Shadows of Cities (2010), a collection of essays. His work has been distinguished with numerous awards. Karahasan lives in Graz and Sarajevo.

»Readers let Dževad Karahasan take them by the hand with great pleasure. The Bosnian novelist and essayist, who grew up with the Quran, well-versed in Goethe and Georg Büchner, appears as a welcome pilot amidst the perils of West-East misunderstandings.« Ilma Rakusa, NZZ


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Masterful short stories by one of the great European writers


Sarajevo, September 1914. In a newspaper editorial office, at the national bank and in other official locations, letters arrive with considerable delay, often years later. Yet it is not the war that has thrown the imperial and royal mail into confusion, but rather a postman in love who has fallen on the battlefield of the world war just unfolding.

Love and loss, progress and memory are the themes of these five long short-stories with which Dževad Karashan leaves the far-distant epoch of the setting of his opus magnum, The Solace of the Night Sky and returns to the twentieth century. Communism arrives in the backwoods of Bosnia. In the small towns, surrounded by lonely, majestic landscapes, Karahasan’s protagonists sense that a time is beginning in which there will not be a place for them any more. They are in denial – radical old men, stubbornly facing the world, insisting on their right to dream, to grieve, and to be tired, quite simply.

Letters that do not reach their destination because death and world history get in the way of love, are a leitmotif in A House for the Wearied. Karahasan describes growing older – a looking back at a world changing more quickly than the individuals in it can keep up with.


»A brilliant storyteller.« Der Standard

»An event of the decade« Neue Zürcher Zeitung about The Solace of the Night Sky

Other publications

Der Trost des Nachthimmels/The Solace of the Night Sky (2016)

Sold to:

Chinese simplex rights (Shanghai Translation Publishing House), Bulgaria (Paradox), Slovenia (Beletrina), Turkey (Iletisim), Greece (Hestia), Iran (Donya-e-Eqtesad), Part 1: Macedonia (Templum)

Sara und Serafina/Sara and Serafina (2014)

Sold to:

Spanish world rights (Galaxia Gutenberg – published, rights reverted), France (Laffont – published, rights reverted), Italy (Il Saggiatore – published, rights reverted), Sweden (Bosnisk-Hercegovinska Riksförbundet i Sverige – published, rights reverted), Slovenia (Cankarjeva Založba – published, rights reverted), Turkey (Ketebe)

Berichte aus der dunklen Welt/Reports from a Dark World (2007)

Sold to:

Poland (Borderland), Bulgaria (Paradox)

Der nächtliche Rat/The Nocturnal Council (2005)

Sold to:

Bulgaria (Paradox), Slovenia (Cankarjeva Založba), Turkey (Apollon)