Intelligence and composure are the roots ...


The Button and The Book 
Narcisa Vucina
translated from the Danish by Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov

ISBN ​978-1-963908-20-6      272 pages        $25.00

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In Sarajevo, Masha grows up in Tito’s Yugoslavia and travels as a 17-year-old with her boyfriend Niko to Dubrovnik, Croatia, where they get engaged. But her life takes a new turn when she meets Pablo, marries him, moves to Chile, has three children and is later subjected to torture under the Pinochet regime.
     She escapes but must leave the country and returns to Sarajevo with her children. After a political career and a new husband, she experiences the horrors of the war in the ʼ90s.
     The war ends, and from refugee life in Croatia she returns to war-torn Sarajevo. Several events now intertwine in a mysterious way, and she once more experiences Tilda as a helping spirit, whose secret book she is in possession of.   

Narcisa Vucina was born in multi-ethnic Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. She lives in Copenhagen, Denmark, where she married a Dane. She holds a Masters in English, University of Sarajevo; exam. Art. in Slavic languages, University of Copenhagen; studied English Language and British Literature at Cambridge College, London; took lessons in American English at the Hollywood Work Source; studied Italian and some other languages; speaks Swedish. The languages she writes in are Danish, English and Croatian/Bosnian. Narcisa was trained in journalism at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, DR; full-time journalist/News Reporter at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation; freelancer for Politiken and other newspapers. In her journalistic work, culture had an important role. She interviewed, among others, David Bowie, Joseph Brodsky, David Lynch, Les Compagnons de la Chanson (Edit Piaf’s vocal group). Some of her articles are about The Sarajevo Haggadah, the first female rabbi in Central and Eastern Europe, and ghosts in a Danish castle. Vucina was hired by the University of Copenhagen to teach Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian, which she did for twenty-two years.

Sinéad Quirke Køngerskov, PhD, is an award-winning Danish to English translator. In 2022, her translation of Coffee, Rabbit, Snowdrop, Lost by Betina Birkjær and Anna Margrethe Kjærgaard (Enchanted Lion) received a Batchelder Honor Award, was listed as a USBBY Outstanding International Book and was announced as a Kirkus Prize 2022 finalist. Sinéad is secretary of DELT (the Association of Danish to English Literary Translators) and was SmokeLong Quarterly’s guest editor for Danish. She lives in Denmark with her husband and son and their three cats. You can read more about her at