Obituary: Nada Curcija-Prodanovic
NADA Curcija-Prodanovic was one of the brightest beacons of British-Serbian relations.
Born in Banja Luka, western Bosnia, in 1923, she had lived in Belgrade since the Second World War, translating copiously from Serbo-Croat into English and shifting easily between the two languages in a remarkable way: she translated two volumes of traditional Serbian tales and songs into English and when she came to write a novel for children she chose to do so in English. The main focus of her work was contemporary drama and she made several visits to the UK through the British Council in a search for material, thus helping to keep Yugoslav audiences up to date with developments in British theatre. Her numerous translations include works by Conrad, John Osborne, George Bernard Shaw, Oscar Wilde, Robert Bolt, Sean O'Casey and Congreve. She was recently rewarded by the Serbian Translators' Guild for her life work.
Nada was a truly cultured person: she taught piano at the Belgrade Ballet School and spent her holidays painting water-colours of the beautiful coastal towns of Istria and Dalmatia. The walls of the small flat where she lived with her husband, collaborator and closest friend, Cale, were lined with books and the works of renowned Yugoslav painters. The flat was always full of people, and conversation stimulated by the warmth of Nada's personality and her insatiable zest for life. She represented the best of Yugoslav cosmopolitan intellectual life, tragically destroyed by a senseless war.
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