After the Grief and on Becoming Whole Again: The Death of Yugoslavia and the Nascence of Dubravka Ugrešić

Sunnie Rucker-Chang, Ohio State University


This paper illustrates that the previously assigned categories for Ugrešić of emigre or exile writer, and refugee are insufficient.  Continuing with this assumption, the acculturation processes of migrants as a method of analysis is insufficient as well. What is most clearly parallel to Ugrešić’s state and process of acceptance of a new identity is the mourning process, which is the main point of comparison for this paper. The multinational, heretofore recognized Croatian, writer Dubravka Ugrešić is one of many indivduals whose identity became lost when Yugoslavia died. For her Yugoslav was more than a linguistic or cultural designation — it was who she was, and though she was Croatian by birth, she was Yugoslav by self-definition. Her identity died when Yugoslavia died, and this is most clearly illustrated through her literary works, which become increasingly fractured both in form and content once her idenity became more and more distant.  She is the bereaved, and her works serve to help her cope with her loss, and because of this finding, the processes of mourning can be documented through her literary works, which will be consulted for understanding how much progress Ugrešić has made in this process thus far. 



Albahari, David. Bait. Evanston: Northwestern UP, 2001.

Boym, Svetlana. The Future of Nostalgia. New York: Basic Books, 2001.

“Exile and Banishment.” Encyclopaedia Britannica Online 23 March 2004 eu=34017.

Grinberg, Leon and Rebeca Grinberg in Bell, David ed. Psychoanalysis and Culture. Routledge: New York, 1999.

Rando, Dr. Therese A. How to Go On Living When Someone You Love Dies. New York: Bantam Books, 1998.

Robinson, Marc. Altogether Elsewhere: Writers on Exile. New York: Harcourt Brace, and Jovanovich, 1996.

Ugrešić, Dubravka. The Museum of Unconditional Surrender. New York: New Directions Books, 1996.

Ugrešić, Dubravka. Thank You For Not Reading: Essays on Literary Trivia. Dalkey Archive Press, 2003.