Andrej Blatnik (1963) is a Slovene writer, editor, and university professor. He received a master’s in American Literature at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Arts, and a PhD (on the influence of popular culture on American postmodernist novels) at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Social Sciences in communication studies in 2004.
He worked as a freelance writer before becoming the fiction editor for Cankarjeva zalozba, a Slovenian publisher. He is an associate professor at the University of Ljubljana’s Faculty of Arts since 2009, and was the president of the jury for the Vilenica Central European Literary Prize between 2007 and 2015.
In 1984 he won the Zlata ptica award for his first book of short stories Šopki za Adama venijo, in 1991 the Župančičeva award of the City of Ljubljana for his book of short stories Menjave kož, and in 2002 the highest Slovene cultural award, the Prešeren Foundation Award, for his book of short stories Zakon želje. His novel Spremeni me was shortlisted for best novel of the year (the Kresnik award) in 2009 and his book of essays and literary studies Neonski pečati for the best book of essays (the Rožančeva award) in 2006.
Blatnik’s first book, Šopki za Adama venijo, is regarded in Slovenia as the first independent book of the generation of the 1980s. His popular topic is “the relations between the sexes, which he treats with sophistication, good humour, and irony. Chance encounters, fleeting relationships, resigned farewells, misunderstandings, and reconciliations are the stuff of many of his short stories. In view of his travels, especially in the United States, the human landscape is frequently cosmopolitan. His style is direct and laconic, in both prose narration and dialogue.” His short stories have been translated into about 30 languages and he has published over 25 books in other countries, including three in the US—Skinswaps (Northwestern University Press, 1988), You Do Understand (Dalkey Archive Press, 2010), and Law of Desire (Dalkey Archive Press, 2014)—seven in Croatian, four in Macedonian, three in German, two each in Spanish, Turkish, Italian and Czech, and also books in Russian, French, Slovak, and Hungarian.
Publishers Weekly noted that in Law of Desire “some stories delve into darkly profound territory, like ‘A Thin Red Line,’ in which a former terrorist chooses a humanitarian suicide, sacrificing himself for a tribe’s rain ritual” and “some pieces are wonderfully humorous.”