Sebastjan Pregelj

In the second half of the 1990s Sebastijan Pregelj (b.1970) called attention to himself with his collections of short stories. During the last five years he has confirmed his mastery of storytelling with his novels Leta milosti (Years of Mercy), Na terasi Babilonskega stolpa (On the Terrace of the Tower of Babel) and Mož, ki je jahal tigra (The Man Who Rode a Tiger) which all earned him nominations for Best Novel of the Year Award (kresnik award). Readers are drawn to his novels by their broad historical background, intertwined with legends and playful motifs that manage to combine the magical with the spiritual and mystical and an intense thriller with a gentle love story.   Pregelj himself stated that for the novel The Man Who Rode a Tiger he accepted a challenge from a friend to set the story in a place where there is nothing at all - in space. The Russian cosmonaut Artion Khachikyan has been more or less forgotten on a space station. Whilst he is awaiting developements he has plenty of time to reveal his story - a story that certainly does not lack imagination.

 Sample translations 

English - "The Man Who Rode a Tiger" 2010 / Translated by: Gregor Timothy Čeh

 From the media 

The combined world of the most recent fruits of Pregelj's imagination has a starting point with a most unusual setting: the orbital station ISS Zarya, nearly four hundred kilometres above Earth. The first-person narrator of the novel, the forty three year old Soviet cosmonaut Artiom Khachikyan has been living there for over two years. At the beginning of each chapter he keeps reminding us of the situation he is in and what he is doing, thus roughly maintaining a space-time throughout the novel [...]. Having recently lost all contact with mission control on Earth, his only link with the blue planet are his memories and contemplations. [...] From his space perspective the worries and preoccupations of life on Earth show themselves in a double light: to the reader they seem like petty and unimportant in comparison to Khachikyan’s arrival in awe-inspiring space; to the protagonist they are grave and crucial since they comprise his past – the only thing he has. [...] Pregelj’s aim is not to stir the reader’s yearning and leave it unsatisfied. Everything he offers on his menu has been well prepared. The power of his narrative is excellent because it is encouraged by a limitless imagination. [...] We are dealing with an isolated world with little time for nonsense, given meaning throughout by stories, importance, traditions and belief in good. Miracles and great stories are, in Pregelj’s case at least, still convincing.
Tina Vrščaj in Pogledi
The world needs stories, beautiful, terrible, complicated stories. How great it is to see that Pregelj’s story does not slide into the light world of new age spirituality, but attempts great answers without offering the latest guru-truths and deceptive recipes for new beginnings. [...] Pregelj’s novel is a charmingly rich read about man’s weaknesses and fears but also about the miracle of hope, all executed with an expert stroke. What a story!
Igor Bratož in Književni listi
Pregelj's novel is not only a pasture for the imagination, a stroll through mythology, existing and imaginary religions and fairytale landscapes, but is full of messages about the meaning of life, about our link with nature and people, about memories that reside in our genes, about love ... about Fate, more powerful than any of us.
Manca Košir in Poslovna asistenca