MIRO GAVRAN is a contemporary Croatian author, born in 1961. His works have been translated into 40 languages, and his books are published in 250 different editions at home and abroad. His dramas and comedies have had more than 400 theatre premiers around the world and have been seen by more than four million theatre-goers.
He is probably the only living playwright in the world who has had a festival dedicated solely to his dramas and comedies in five different countries. The festival known as the GavranFest was founded in the city of Trnava in Slovakia in 2003, moved to Krakow in Poland in 2013, while as of 2016 has been held in Prague in Czeck Republic, in 2019 in Augsburg in Germany, and 2020 Belgrade Serbia.
He debuted in 1983 with the drama Creon’s Antigone, speaking out forcefully about political manipulation. This was followed three years later by the drama Night of the Gods, the theme being the relationship between the artist and the powers-that-be under a totalitarian system. He then wrote a cycle of plays concentrating on male-female relations, in which his heroes were often great historical persons. He has created a series of complex female characters. His heroines are both strong and emotional. He has written 55 plays to date, including Death of an Actor, All About Women, All About Men, George Washington’s Loves, Chekhov Says Good-Bye to Tolstoy, How To Kill The President, Greta Garbo’s Secret,Laughing Prohibited, Parallel Worlds, Nora in Our Time, My Wife’s Husband, Dr Freud’s Patient, The Doll, Ice Cream, Beer, Your Every Birthday, Perfect Partner…
There have been first nights of his plays throughout the world, in Rotterdam, Washington, Moscow, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Buenos Aires, Waterford, Mumbai, Bratislava, Prague, Ljubljana, Sarajevo, Krakow, Belgrade, Budapest, Athens, Augsburg, Vienna, Sofia, New York, Rome, Los Angeles, Riga, Vilnius…
He has had ten novels published: Forgotten Son, How We Broke Our Legs, Klara, Margita or A Journey into a Former Life, Judith, John the Baptist, Pontius Pilate, The Only Witness to Beauty, Kafka’s Friend and A Few Birds and One Sky along with two collections of short stories entitled Small Unusual People and Stories of Solitude.
In his early novels, he describes the life in the Croatian provinces, featuring everyday folk, anti-heroes of sorts, who retain a positive stance towards life even when they are confronted with injustice and major difficulties. This is perhaps best seen in his novel, Forgotten Son (1989), in which the central personage is a slightly mentally challenged young man of twenty.
As a forty-year-old, Gavran started to write psychological-existential novels inspired by biblical characters, bringing them nearer to the sensibilities of contemporary readers. These books have been popular with both believers and non-believers, since their messages are universal.
His books have been published in all corners of the globe: in Beijing, Vienna, St Petersburg, Oslo, Istanbul, Paris, Prague, Bratislava, Sofia, Ljubljana, Cairo, Amsterdam, Jaipur…
Gavran has received over 30 literary awards in Croatia and abroad, including the CENTRAL EUROPEAN TIME Award, given annually in Budapest to the best Central European author for the overall opus, as well as the EUROPEAN CIRCLE Award given to writers for the confirmation of European values in their texts.
Filling his work with insight and humour, Miro Gavran has written ten books for children and young people: All Sorts of Things in My Head, How Dad Won Mum, Head Over Heels in Love, Happy Days, Farewell Letter, Plays with a Head and a Tail, Try to Forget, Plays for children, The Teacher of My Dreams and A Summer to Remember. These books have also found their way to adult readers.
Gavran earned his degree in Dramaturgy at the Academy of Theatre, Film and Television in Zagreb.
He first worked as a dramaturge and artistic director at the famous ITD Theatre in Zagreb (1986 – 1992) . Since January 1993, he has been living and working as a freelance, professional writer. His theatre and prose texts have been included in numerous anthologies in Croatia and around the globe, and his work is studied at universities throughout the world.
Since April 2014 he has been a full member of the Russian Academy of Literature and since May 2014 an associate member of the Croatian Academy of Science and Art. In November of 2016 he became member of the Slovene Literature and Arts Academy whose residence is Varna in Bulgaria.
He was awarded “Dr Alois Mock Europapreis 2017” award in December 2017. The Alois Mock award has been handed out for fourteen years already to notable individuals who, in the spirit of the European idea of community, have promoted European values and unity through their literary or journalistic work, activities in the public sector, in organizations or in business.
Miro Gavran received the Decoration of Honour in Gold for Services to the Republic of Austria in Austrian Cultural Forum, Zagreb on March 20. It was awarded to him by the president of the Republic of Austria.
He was named the first Tie Ambassador by the Academia Cravatica from Zagreb in September 2018.
He was declared an honorary academician of the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in Bosnia and Herzegovina on June 23 in the City of Mostar.
He is married to the actress Mladena Gavran, and they founded the GAVRAN Theatre in 2002. Their son Jakov is also an actor.