Jovanka Hrvaćanin

Date of birth January 20, 1899
Date of death 1987
Web address

Personal situation

Jovanka Hrvaćanin was born on January 20, 1899 in Dubica (nowadays Croatian Dubica), though she spent her early childhood in Belgrade. After the death of her younger brother, and the loss of her father’s job in 1903, she returned with her family to her birth place, where she finished elementary school. Because of the political situation and her father’s activism, Jovanka’s education was disorganized, marked by abrupt pauses and frequent changes of residence. She spent the Great War in isolation and seclusion in Dubica. To pass the time, she began correspondence with the captain of a sea ship, who had placed an ad in a newspaper. This correspondence lasted from November 1915 to March 1918, and served as the basis for her sole epistolary novel Neviđeni (The Unseen). She attended high school in Bjelovar and Belgrade, and after World War I she graduated from the Faculty of Philology (1923) and passed her Teachers’ Exam in 1926. She worked as a teacher in the High School for Girls (1923-1931), the Higher School for Teachers in Novi Sad, and the First High School for Girls in Belgrade (1933-1940). In Novi Sad, she founded the Association of University Women and was its first chairwoman. After World War II, she worked at the Institute of Pedagogy, at the Department of Children’s and Youth Literature and Press (1949-1950), and then as a chief editor of Dečja knjiga (Children's Book,1951-1953), until she retired in 1953. She died in Belgrade in 1987. 

Place of birth Hrvatska Dubica
Place(s) of residence Croatia and Serbia
Place of death Beograd
Nationality Croatian
First language(s) Serbian
Marital status Still not known
Education University education

Professional situation

Jovanka Hrvaćanin started writing while she was still in elementary school, when she published two poems. Two anthologies of her poems, Pesme Neviđenom (Poems to the Unseen) and Otkinuto lišće (Torn Leaves), as well as a short work of lyrical prose Zapisi (Notes), were written in the period between the wars, during which she was present in most contemporary periodicals. After World War II she dedicated herself mainly to writing for children. She is the author of a short epistolary novel Neviđeni (The Unseen), which was published for the first time in 1995 in the magazine ProFemina, in three installments. She did plenty of translations, mostly from Slavic languages. 

Profession(s) and other activities poet, writer for children, fiction writer/novelist, and teacher/governess
Language(s) in which she wrote Serbian
Financial aspects of her career Salary
Memberships Other

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