Book review: A Guide to the Serbian Mentality by Momo Kapor (Serbia)

That sounds interesting and a complement to a book I read a couple of years ago called Border by a Bulgarian writer who has decamped to Scotland. Central Europe always fascinating, sad and seemingly historically tangled.

Imogen is Reading and Watching the World: On Books, Film, Art & More

(Multiple translators)

A slightly strange one this, which was recommended as a good read on Serbia in the Lonely Planet’s Armchair Explorer book (which I’ve currently lost amid the chaos caused by our building work, but hope eventually to unearth).

The title made me wince a bit, but this is a non-fiction book that is a mixture of national pride, self-deprecation and black humour, written and illustrated by Serbian novelist and artist Momo Kapor (1937-2010), and seemingly always intended for an English-speaking readership.

Unapologetically reinforcing as many stereotypes as it debunks, the book is interesting on food and culture, often witty, and sometimes gratingly sexist:

things have changed … especially the Belgrade girl. She is no longer a somewhat plump little woman, whose appeal was in being unprotected and helpless … Today’s Belgrade girls are marked by an often slender, tall figure… [man in late 60s then waxes lyrical…

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By penwithlit

Freelance writer and radio presenter

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