Olja Savičević Ivančević

To my great pleasure, last summer I received an invitation from Iva Ciceran of the Pazin Town Library, and then also from Neven Ušumović of the Umag Town Library to present my novel “Adios, Cowboy” in Istria. Of course, I accepted the invitation eagerly and in October 2010, during the Book Month, I spent a few pleasant and merry days in the Pazin Writers’ House. My stay was organised as a mini-tour of a few Istrian town libraries (Pazin-Labin-Umag), including the bookshop Castropola in Pula.

The novel „Adios, Cowboy“ was presented by my dear colleagues and writers: Slađana Bukovac, Tatjana Gromača, Neven Ušumović, Morin Kudić, all under the watchful eye of the excellent hostess and organizer Iva Ciceran. Magdalena Vodopija spoke about the novel in Pula. All these events were quite well covered by the local media, but also by the Croatian Television, and the audience was excellent.

A poet from Labin, Malvina Mileta, translated my poetry into their local dialect, which gave me enormous joy as my poems sound better in the Labin dialect then in standard Croatian, and this thanks to the translator’s gift.

The Writers’ House stands in a striking position, in the historical part of Pazin, above the castle which today hosts a museum (that I visited and where I particularly enjoyed the exhibition of Istrian emigrants) and right next to the Pazin gorge and the Pazinčica, but luckily far enough from the gorge. I stayed in the upper part of the house with my friend, driver and physician (all in one person) Danijela Kalibović, and on the ground floor the Pazin reading and party with fritule (small doughnuts) and wine were organized.

Considering its position, ambience, seclusion, peace and a specific, out-of-ordinary atmosphere, I think that the little house above the Pazinčica, the house which I called, not at all by chance, the Bird House, is “picture-perfect” for staying and working of both male and female writers – which is what I wish the House and writers from the deepest of my heart.

I travelled by car, which I recommend to the future guests as it allowed me to visit the surrounding places, landmarks, konobe (taverns) and fešte (festivities) in my free time, and to return to Split impressed for life and hoping to repeat the stay in the Writers” House (at least) once more.