Author: Alen Meskovic
Translator: Paul Russell Garrett
Original language: Danish
Published by: Seren Books, March 2018
Miki, a Bosnian teenager, and his family are escaping the Balkan war. They live in a Croatian refugee camp, a former holiday resort on the Adriatic, but it’s difficult to adjust to their new circumstances. With the war rumbling in the background and his brother missing in a Serbian prison camp, Miki and his new friends pick up girls, listen to music and have campfire parties on the beach. Then war breaks out between Croats and Bosnians and friends threaten to become enemies. Miki wants to emigrate to Sweden, but his parents can’t face leaving behind their old life in Bosnia.
Based on his own experiences, Alen Mešković has written a novel by turns humorous and tragic. It is lively, poetic, raw, affecting and very funny, all the while depicting a European tragedy whose consequences still resonate today.
Its subject and its resonant style made Ukulele Jam a success in Europe, where it has been translated into nine languages.