European Union Prize for Literature

Creative EuropeEuropean and International Booksellers FederationEuropean Writers' CouncilFederation of European Publishers

Winning Authors

Nataša Kramberger, Slovenia

About the author:

Nataša Kramberger (b.1983) was born in Maribor, the second largest city in Slovenia. She won the Slovenian young authors prize in 2006 and her book Nebesa v robidah was nominated for the Kresnik Prize as Slovenia’s best novel of the year in 2008. In the same year, Kramberger won the international short story competition, A Sea of Words, which is sponsored by the Anna Lindh Foundation, and in 2009 she won the Young Euro Connect prize. Nataša Kramberger works as a freelance writer and journalist. She pens several articles, essays and columns for daily newspapers in Slovenia and Italy, writes literary texts for magazines and radio, and works on screenplays for documentary movies. In 2009, she founded the eco-art collective Green Central, where she promotes ecology and art. She lives in Berlin and travels frequently.

Publishing house:

Javni sklad Republike Slovenijeza kulturne dejavnosti
Štefanova 5
1000 Ljubljana

Tel: +386 01 24 10 500
Fax: +386 01 24 10 510 
E-mail: -

Agent / Rights Director:

Daniele Croci
tel: +49 1 76 28 72 07 57

Translation deals:

Book awarded:

Nebesa v robidah: roman v zgodbah (Heaven in a blackberry bush: novel in stories)


The novel Nebesa v robidah is described by its author as “a novel in stories”. These stories consist of multiple fragments and events that come to life as raindrops plunging in medias res, straight into the heart of the narrative, without introduction or explanation. The story runs like a river, sometimes wildly, sometimes peacefully, to many corners of the world. Its main character is Jana, a girl from the Slovenian countryside who moves to Amsterdam to study, while also working as a babysitter for a Chinese-Dutch child in order to make a living. Jana carries within her stories from the Slovenian countryside in the early 90s, after the declaration of independence and right in the middle of its harsh transitional period. The main male character is Bepi the fisherman, born between the two World Wars in Latisana, Italy, who lost his parents in unclear circumstances, before travelling the world. Bepi's many stories include tales of travels in South America seeking gold, sacred fish and sacred rivers, tales from Asia and the Mekong, and tales of meeting a wide variety of characters from Peruvian old ladies with long hair to a blonde love from Amsterdam. Bepi now resides in Amsterdam, taking care of his seven-year-old granddaughter, who was sent to him from India by her mother. To summarise this intriguing tale: when Jana, Bepi and the sacred fish meet one afternoon in Amsterdam, the consequences will be extremely unpredictable…


Translated by Leni Mérat

Au lieu d’un vélo, elle a acheté des pommes. Trois kilos, douze pommes, et ça faisait rire la vendeuse Et sa pèlerine avec. - Quand il pleut, elles sont encore meilleures. A Amsterdam à trois heures, les gouttes tombaient sur le monde et sur sa pèlerine. Les flaques grossissaient sur les ponts et sur la place du marché. Au bord du canal, des voleurs revendaient des vélos. - Bike, bike. Au lieu d’un vélo, elle a acheté des pommes. *** Son arrière-grand père était musicien de village et il jouait du cor aux baptêmes et aux enterrements. Son grand-père était croque-mort, et avant ça vendeur en redevances télé. A ceux qui ne payaient pas, et à ceux qui ne voulaient pas regarder, il scellait la télé. Avec du scotch et de la cire. Sa mère écrivait des discours funéraires. Elle les lisait habillée parfois d’un corsage noir, parfois de chaussures noires. Elle-même ne savait pas où regarder, quand le bus est arrivé et que la porte s’est ouverte. Elle a d’abord poussé son sac à dos et son sac et sa mère a dit : - Tu as de l’argent ? Au lieu de hocher la tête, elle s’est rappelé les sureaux qui étaient sur le point de fleurir. Puis Lojze est arrivé et a tout foutu en l’air. Il a demandé si elles avaient à la maison un petit godet, sa mère lui a dit d’attendre, et elle, elle regardait les sureaux, les bouleaux et la longue route, puis Lojze s’est fait engueuler par Fanika : - Qu’est ce que tu mendies encore, foutu grand-père ? Puis le chauffeur leur a mal parlé, il a dit, on y va, bon dieu, elle n’était pas même pas encore montée, elle n’avait même pas encore dit à sa mère qu’elle avait assez d’argent, même pas encore. Et encore. Et encore. Et c’était toujours comme ça. … … Mais c’est important, a dit sa mère au moment voulu, d’avoir toujours dans sa poche un kaléidoscope.

More info on the author with excerpt in o.v. and EN or FR (PDF)

Rave Media Reviews:

"This girl is gifted with broad views, incredible imagination, humour and last but not least, by an extreme human warmth and tolerance to other people.”
(Mirko Lorenci, long-standing journalist and senior editor of Večer newspaper, Slovenia)

"A sovereign, strong and especially free and independent voice. Surprising and bold!”
(Jernej Županič, critic, Literatura magazine, Slovenia)

“Kramberger’s voice is bursting with rhythm as if accompanied by a rhythm section; this is how jazz players chant, this is how non-Europeans click their fingers or their tongues when happy. Vivid and lively.”
(Matej Bogataj, critic, in Sodobnost magazine, Slovenia)

“Readability, humour, excellent dialogues and love for life. Only a bold female pen can write something like this.”
(Marko Elsner Grošelj, critic, Slovenia)

“Juicy like an apple!”
(Metka Lampret, Mentor online, Slovenia)

”Europe needs brilliant authors like Nataša Kramberger! Her texts are pure joy!”
(Wolfgang Klein, editor of talk show "Maybrit Illner", ZDF Television, Germany)

“Nataša Kramberger is not only an excellent author. She reads her texts so colourfully that even an audience which does not understand a word will enjoy it profoundly.”
(Penka Angelova, director of the Elias Canetti Centre Ruse, and senior professor at Sofia and Veliko Tarnovo University, Bulgaria)

"As a director, I have read and worked on many screenplays. Nevertheless, I found Nataša Kramberger’s screenplay for the film Bags of Stories special, intense and full from the first moment. She sees the world through a prism of deep wisdom, which gives her an incredible insight in life. For me, it was a simply unmatched experience.”
(Hanka Kastelicová, film director, Czech Republic)

"Nataša Kramberger is in fact the most cordial girl I have ever met, a fragile grace with profound gravity, but also a girl reporting from the European cup in football in the middle of the night, for the last edition of the paper.
She surprises me with everything she does, taking me on wonderful journeys. And I do not mean geographical dimensions, although these are not negligible either, both in her life and in her writing. What I have in mind are cerebral journeys, the way of “orientation” in the space; the interspaces, the layers and the fusion of layers where her charming heaven springs up.”
(Petra Vidali, editor and critic, Slovenia)

Marketing/Sales & Media Opportunities:

Slovenian Book Agency covers up to 100% of translation costs, if the foreign publisher presents the signed contract with the rights holder (Nataša Kramberger) or the letter of intent to publish Blackberry Heaven in any foreign language.

A printed catalogue about Nataša Kramberger and her work was made in April 2011 in English and German language in order to introduce her to foreign publishers. Should you be interested in receiving the catalogue, please contact

L'agence Slovène du livre couvre jusqu'à 100% des frais de traduction si l'éditeur étranger dispose d'un contrat signé avec la détentrice des droits (Nataša Kramberger) ou d'une lettre d'intention de publier Blackberry Heaven dans une langue étrangère.

Un catalogue de référence sur Nataša Kramberger et son oeuvre a été réalisé en avril 2011, en anglais et en allemand, afin d'introduire l'auteur auprès des éditeurs étrangers. Si vous souhaitez recevoir ce catalogue prenez contact avec Daniele Croci.

Awards Received:

For more information, download the full presentation of the Author