Here the Croatian poet and writer depicts a wrenching love between a transgender man and a woman as well as a demanding love between a mother and a daughter in a narrative about liberation of the mind, family, and society.
This is a story of hidden queer and trans relationships, the effects of a near-fatal accident, and an oppressed childhood, in which Ivana Bodrožić tackles the issues addressed in her previous works—issues of otherness, identity and gender, pain and guilt, injustice and violence.
A daughter is paralysed after a car crash, left without the ability to speak, trapped in a hospital bed, unable to move anything but her eyes. Although she is immobilised, her mind reels, moving through time, her memories a salve and a burden. A son is stuck in a body that he feels is not his own. He endures misperceptions and abuse on the way to becoming who he truly is. A mother who grew up being told she was never good enough, in a world with no place for the desires and choices of women, carries with her the burden of generations.
These three stories run parallel and intertwine.
"In Ivana Bodrožić’s third novel, freedom often comes at the cost of forgetting—forgetting war and those lost to it, forgetting a life before transition, forgetting life itself for the simulacrum of it. Each character is locked into a body, to history, to a manner of living they would never choose, loosened only occasionally by their desperate attempts to escape these bonds. These characters twine together, giving us a fractured view of lives broken by violence and isolation, while reminding us of the cacophony of love, imperfect and brittle as it may be, that we leave in our wakes." — Alex DiFrancesco, author of Transmutation
"Each book by Ivana Bodrožić is a literary event here in Croatia. Her new novel, Sons, Daughters, is news the world over; wherever the word 'banned' is used, the places others evade, these are the places where Ivana begins her writing and pushes it to the limit, to the most intimate nooks and crannies, to the locked heart of all things and she does this with remarkable ease and gravity. Epic in scope, lyrical, poetic and polemic in style, Sons, Daughters is a novel about us; about daughters and sons, a novel that will be read, people will write and talk about it—for a very long time to come."—Olja Savičević Ivančević, author of Farewell Cowboy
"The theme of this complex novel is what our body, our gender at birth, foists on us, our body that can become a cage built by society around a person's identity. The novel is dedicated to unfreedom and the price a person pays when choosing freedom—about the high price of otherness—the author has written with nuanced psychological insight and the sensibility of a serious writer."—Slavenka Drakulić, author of They Would Never Hurt a Fly