Nominated for the German Bookprize 2017
Robert Prosser’s PHANTOMS reaches across time and space from the Bosnian War to the present day, from Sarajevo to Vienna. In the 90s, the sudden arrival of war interrupts Anisa and Jovan’s youthful romance. Jovan is drafted and Anisa flees to Vienna, never to see her father again. Both experience the chaos and boredom of war, from a Vienna refugee camp to the muddy fields of the Bosnian countryside. Years later, Anisa’s daughter travels to Bosnia-Herzegovina with her boyfriend, in search of her mother’s history. They find a land of contradictions, leaning giddily towards the future, yet ever mired in the past. Engrossing the reader in military life, refugee monotony, and the contemporary Balkan party scene, Phantoms weaves a cross-generational narrative of displacement and survival. Prosser sketches a present haunted by the past, anchoring today’s most urgent debates firmly in history.