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Maja Novak

Maja Novak spent her childhood years living with her grandmother in Nova Gorica, a town in western Slovenia near the Italian border. At the age of sixteen, she moved to Ljubljana, the capital, to finish high school and went on to study law. She eventually obtained her degree after many complications, which included becoming a young, single mother to her daughter Sara. She was unable to find employment as a lawyer, however, as it was rather complicated to get a legal job under socialism. Instead, she started to earn her living by translating pulp crime novels into Slovenian from English and Italian, which led her to believe she could do a better job writing herself. Thus, her first novel, A Murder in the Territorial Waters (1993), was born. As the first authentic Slovenian crime novel published after World War II, it was met with great popular acclaim. Spurred on by her success, she took up serious writing: a novel, Roommates (1995), and a collection of short stories, The Beasts (1996)—which includes the story "The Ghosts are Schrödinger Cats"—followed soon after. She was awarded the Prešeren Foundation Award, Slovenia's national prize for the arts, for The Beasts in 1997. Her recent works include the novel As Killed (2004), as well as a number of short stories in anthologies and works for children. Her novel The Feline Plague (2000) was published in English translation by North Atlantic Books in 2009. Ms. Novak lives, writes, translates and plays computer games in Ljubljana.

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