‘Bellicam machinam vulgo petart appellatam’ in Awguri, Giovanni Bonello
Short story published in ‘Awguri, Giovanni Bonello’, a festschrift published to celebrate the 80th birthday of ex-European High Court Judge and historian Giovanni Bonello. Each author was assigned a historical personage formerly explored by Bonello in his historical writings, and given free reign to write a piece of short historical fiction based on them.
For his piece, Reljić was given Caterina Vitale – a scandalously intriguing character that offered ample opportunity for lurid literary explanation.
“A religious benefactress, a prostitute and a torturer, all rolled into one character. She’s a dream character for any author, and in the hands of Reljic this story turns into a gothic extravagance that will shock, excite and intrigue. From religious piety to an underground dark science scene, this is a tale like no other in Maltese literature, and a sublime taste of what Reljic’s writing has to offer.” – Merlin Publishers
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Teodor Reljić’s debut novel, Two, is published by Merlin Publishers, and was shortlisted for the National Book Prize in Malta (2015). It tells the story of a young boy dealing with a family tragedy by remembering the bedtime stories his mother used to tell him, and the book’s parallel narratives interweave in surprising ways as the story moves forward.
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Praise for Two
“Startlingly effective observations, colourful imagery and insightful turns of phrase... The author’s prose style is engaging and convincing, with repetition evoking a child’s limited vocabulary and fascination with themselves and their immediate situation.” – Times of Malta
“I was lucky enough to read Teodor Reljic’s novel Two over the weekend, and if you are lucky, you will be reading it some weekend soon. Teodor absolutely nails the voice of his central character, a young boy floating in a moment: between understandings of home and nationality (the boy having just moved from the UK to Malta), of his parents, of the role of story in the world. Teodor avoids all the cliches of coming-of-age stories, and steers deftly between realistic fiction, fantasy, horror, and fable.” – Gregory Norman Bossert
Teodor Reljic reads from ‘Two’ at the Malta Mediterranean Literature Festival (2018)
“Two reads as if it is very personal. In some respects it reminds me of another novel I love, Jeffrey Ford’s The Shadow Year. In both novels, parents – especially mothers – with problems loom large, and the children must cope by living in worlds of their making. Two is also outstandingly sensual, in a wholly idiosyncratic way. This is one first novel I highly recommend.” – Anna Tambour
“The writing is dreamy, and poetic and often exquisite… this is a book that will reward re-reading and is in a very appealing style. I really enjoyed it and look forward to seeing more from this author” – Pete Sutton
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