Towards the Land of the Tapirs

Ana Simon

Translator Jana and her family live in a quiet suburb of Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. Endeavoring to resolve childhood trauma which still haunts her, Jana is writing a novel – vaguely hoping that, by managing her characters’ lives, she might be able to regain control over her own and end her depression caused by painful memories.

But little does she suspect that dark shadows from the past have conspired against her efforts to ultimately sever the bonds of her dark family heritage – and against her faith. Her quiet family life is about to be invaded by a forceful attack of hateful forces, the memory of which she is desperately trying to put behind her. They enter her home uninvited, threatening to crush her faith and destroy her family, cornering her into taking a stand and sticking out the spiritual fight regardless of the price.

The old Serbian village sorcery has made its way into the urban setting of post-war Zagreb – and this time it is coming after her daughter. Jana has only two choices: she will either have to give up on attempting to rescue her child, trusting God to intervene, or resort to the dark forces again by seeking the help of a fortune-teller.

Publisher: STEPress d.o.o.
Davor Teresak - Croatia
Published: 2011
ISBN: 978-953-6350-65-0
Format: 22 x 14 cm, paperback
Pages: 385
Number of Characters: 665000
Number of Words: 120000
Number of Edition: 1
Printrun: 1000
Original Language: Croatian

-         TOWARDS THE LAND OF THE TAPIRS is different from most novels on the Christian book market since it is not a „contemporary Christian fairy tale“ nor a predictable story of a person involved in the occult who becomes a Christian thanks to God's love and power, and to the support of a strong local church. It is not a book in which evil fictional characters get either converted or punished. Devoid of all clichés of the Christian subculture's discourse, it is a faithful depiction of actual events that have taken place (80% of material is autobiographical) rendered in a fictional form – sometimes even a painful account of the main character's spiritual crisis and her clinging to her faith in the oddest circumstances.

-         The story reads like a thriller. The suspense and an unexpected twist to the story are achieved through intertwining of reality –the main character's own life – with the narrative she is shaping.

-        The message of the novel is extremely relevant for considering Christian issues in the contemporary Postmodern and New Age cultural environment, in which tolerance is imposed as the highest value and all aspects of ethnic heritage, including the occult, are being indiscriminately promoted. The novel basically communicates to readers: „Keep away from the occult and trust God with your life. He is faithful.“

Query letter and manuscript available in English.


Bruna Filli-Terešak grew up in Zagreb, the capital of Croatia. She attended a grammar school in Zagreb, from which she graduated in 1977. In 1982, Bruna graduated with a Bachelor's degree in French and English Languages and Literatures from the Faculty of Arts of the University of Zagreb. Since then she has been working as a freelance translator and editor. She has worked for many publishing houses, both in Croatia and abroad. She was accepted as a member of the Croatian Literary Translators Association, and also of the Croatian Free-Lance Artists Association in 1988, and since then she has translated and edited several dozens of books. (She is one of the 30 translators in Croatia with the status of a “free lance artist”, who are considered to have published translations of high cultural relevance and to have contributed significantly to translational literary heritage of Croatia.)

Bruna began her writing career in 1982, as a columnist of a cultural weekly Oko, extensively covering cultural events both in Croatia and abroad, and writing reviews of recently released titles. Both columns were most popular with Croatian intellectuals until 1988, when the last issue of the magazine was released. After that she sporadically wrote articles for foreign magazines.

She began writing poetry some 15 years ago. In year 2006 she decided to finally start publishing it, so her first book of poetry, Autumn Prayers, was published. Her poems have also been included in two anthologies of Croatian poetry. In 1993 her poems were printed in an award-winning collection of spiritual poetry. (In 2002 her short story Life was chosen from stories submitted by authors from many countries, in a collection of 14 short stories published by MAI.)

TOWARDS THE LAND OF THE TAPIRS is Bruna Terešak’s first novel. She is currently working on her second novel, an extensive fantasy saga showing the ultimate consequences of New Age ideals and Postmodern ideas fulfilled to the greatest extent in an imagined West world population. (Ana Simon is a pen name that Bruna uses in her fictional titles.)

                Bruna started the Christian publishing house STEPress in 2000 with her husband Davor, endeavoring to produce Christian books for the general Croatian market. She has also been serving worldwide as a trainer for translators and editors (Albania, Austria, Brazil, Greece, Kenya, Philippines, Rumania, USA).