Ivo Andric

The Bridge Over the Drina
  • The Bridge Over the Drina

  • 'By the time I finished it something in me had shifted forever' Elif Shafak, New Statesman

    There is no hero or heroine in this book. Instead, there is a bridge, and there are the characters that have loved it, hated it, built it or tried to destroy it. Ivo Andric, winner of the Nobel Prize in Literature, grew up beside it.

    For more than four hundred years a bridge has spanned the River Drina in Bosnia. This novel is its chronicle. Radisav, a workman, tries to hinder its construction and is impaled alive on its highest point. Beautiful Fata leaps from its parapet to escape an arranged marriage. Milan, inveterate gamble, risks all in one last game on it.

    Spanning generations, nationalities, creeds, and a great stretch of green water, the bridge bears witness to the lives played out on it, connections forged and centuries of conflict.

Ivo Andric was born in 1892 in Travnik, Bosnia of Croat parents and grew up alongside Orthodox Christians, Moslems and Roman Catholics in Višegrad, the town on the banks of the Drina where his book is set. Until 1941 he served as a Yugoslav diplomat, then, placed under house arrest in Belgrade by the occupying Germans, Andric turned to writing. In 1961 he was awarded the Noble prize for literature. He died in 1975.

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