Goce Smilevski was born in 1975 in Skopje, Macedonia. He was educated at Charles University in Prague, Central European University in Budapest, and Ss. Cyril and Methodius University in Skopje, where he works at the Institute for Literature. He has won numerous prizes for his writing, in Macedonia and abroad; his novel Freud's Sister won the European Union Prize for Literature and is being published in more than twenty-five languages.
From his Q & A with Ann Mayhew at Publishers Weekly:
Why do you think it’s important to investigate history’s “forgotten” characters, and why Adolfina?--Marshal Zeringue
In The Art of the Novel, Milan Kundera wrote that “historiography writes the history of society, not of a man,” while the art of the novel has the ability to examine “the historical dimension of human existence.” Historiography remembers only the influential people; its selective memory neglects the lives of ordinary people. Adolfina Freud is one of those billions of forgotten people, and we are certain of just a few facts of her life and death. We know nothing about her joys and sorrows. On the other hand, many things about her brother Sigmund have been well recorded, including those that are trivial, such as where he bought cigars. Writing a novel narrated by a relative of one of the most influential people in history was, for me, a symbolic act; I was giving a voice to one of those forgotten people whose lives, happiness, and tragedies have been lost.
What kind of research did you do to reimagine Adolfina’s life?
My main research was about 19th-century and early 20th-century life, the Holocaust, psychoanalysis, and her brother’s works.
How did Sigmund Freud’s work influence how you novelized his sister’s life and death?