Dževad Karahasan

The Nocturnal Council - Novel

Original Bosnian title: Noćno vijeće, published in 2005 by Profil
(German title: Der nächtliche Rat)
ca. 333 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


Sold to

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


Against the background of recent events Dževad Karahasan tells the story of a man anxious to explore his origins, and who is confronted with the impending war. The Nocturnal Council is a forceful novel, in which crime and theological speculation, a love story and radical social criticism are deftly interwoven.

Simon Mihailović, a Bosnian doctor living in exile in Berlin, returns to his Bosnian home town Foča after 25 years in August 1991. A poisonous mood of violence, fear, fanaticism and nationalist madness prevails. Shortly after he arrives, a woman from an old Bosnian family, and a onetime sweetheart of his, is brutally murdered. Three other people, who were close to him, are killed in mysterious circumstances. The suspicion falls on Simon, the stranger from the West. One evening Enver Pilav, a long lost friend, and now a Sufi monk, appears on his doorstep. Something is not right with him. In the days and nights, they spent dreaming and discussing with one another, a transformation takes place: The deeper Simon delves into his inner mind the more he feels like opening to another world. Then he accompanies Enver down into the Barzakh, the subterranean interim realm, where the souls of those murdered over the last centuries gather to break the chain of violence.

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)