Danilo Kis was born in the then Kingdom of Yugoslavia in 1935. After an unsettled childhood during the Second World War, in which several of his family members were killed, Kis studied literature at the University of Belgrade where he lived for most of his adult life. He wrote novels, short stories and poetry and went on to receive the prestigious NIN Award for his novel Pescanik. He died in Paris in 1989. Mark Thompson is a British historian. His published work includes Birth Certificate: The Story of Danilo Kis.
I urge you to read this reissued collection from a writer who reinvented and invigorated the short story...[The title story] is one of the most moving I have ever read, a testament to both the power and the weakness of literature and human memory... He is one of those writers you feel is on your side. In short, I cannot recommend this book highly enough, or urge it on you more strongly -- Nicholas Lezard Guardian Compulsively readable Daily Telegraph Kis is one of the great European writers of the post-war period Guardian Fantasy chases reality and reality chases fantasy. Pirandello and Borges are not far away. But these names are intended as approximate references. Kis is a new, original writer -- Leonardo Sciascia Times Literary Supplement In The Encyclopedia of the Dead, Danilo Kis offers a vision that expands the domain of life at the expense of that of death. These stories present that vision with a journalist's precision, with a taxidermist's tactile knowledge of era and realm, with the tenacity of a true son of the century -- Joseph Brodsky Intense and exotic, his mysteries hint at unspeakable secrets that remain forever beyond the story-teller's grasp -- Boyd Tonkin This translation, by Michael Henry Heim, is superb Independent The Encyclopedia of the Dead is a book of wonders, product of a vivid imagination that is yet a model of narrative restraint RTE Kis is woefully undervalued. He belongs at the centre of European literature, not on its fringes...It is past time for Kis's rediscovery. New Statesman