Radoslav Bratić was born in Bileća, Herzegovina, in 1948, where he got his elementary and high school education (Bileća, Trebinje). He studied Yugoslav and world literature at the Belgrade University.
For his first novel The Death of the Saviour he got the prize of the youth magazine "Mladost" and so he entered Serbian literature with a great success. Since then literary critics enroll him among the most important contemporary Serbian and Yugoslav short story writers and novelists pointing out his beautiful language, rich humor, masterful vocabulary. He is considered to be a writer of magic and fantasy. For his six books of novels and short stories Bratić has received the most important literary prizes in the former Yugoslavia, among them the one named by Ivo Andric, the Nobel Prize Winner writer. All Bratić’s books were sold in several editions.
Besides The Death of the Saviour Bratić published another novel Doubt in the Biography and books of short stories Picture Without Father, Fear of the Bells, Winter in Herzegovina, Winter in Herzegovina and Other Stories (selected short stories), a book of contemplations on poetics of fiction Sheherezade’s Lover, a book of essays Author and the Document. Fear of the Bells got three awards, among them also the award of the critics given based on the votes of 81 critics from all the republics of the former Yugoslavia. This book of short stories has got its roots in the author’s birthplace and mythology of Herzegovina.
Bratić founded and edited "Znak", the literary magazine of students of the Belgrade University; he used to be one of the editors of the literary fortnightly "Književna reč", and now he is one of the editors of the oldest Yugoslav literary monthly "Književnost". He used to be editor-in-chief- of "Relations", literary quarterly published by the Serbian Writers’ Association and by the PEN Centre. He spent some time also on the post of the secretary of the Serbian Writers’ Association.
Bratić has written dramas for radio, TV and theatre as well as book reviews; he was one of the compilers of the anthologies of short stories of India, China and of the Lusatians.
Bratić’s short stories have been included into several anthologies and collections of Yugoslav and Serbian short stories published in Yugoslavia and in other countries, and they have been translated into English, Hindi, German, Swedish, Polish, Czechish, French, Chinese, Russian, Rumanian, and Italian…
Bratić was invited as a writer to several countries, so he visited India, China, the U.S.A., the former U.S.S.R, some Asian and most of the European countries: France, Great Britain, Italy, Germany, Israel, Poland, etc.
For many years he was one of the editors in the largest Yugoslav publishing house BIGZ, where he was editor of over ten libraries.
(excerpts from reviews on Bratić's fiction)
Ljubiša Jeremić: In Bratić’s short stories you can find the golden pages of fiction of art.
Božo Koprivica: Picture without Father is narrated in a language of magic power and beauty.
Vladislava Ribnikar: In Bratić’s fiction everything is in motion, everything warns, attacks us… There is everything overwhelmed by fear in that bitter struggle against misfortune brought by the severe climate, poverty and illness, beasts and human beings, by the nature and history.
Milan Vlajčić: An excellent story teller in the original purity of the language of Herzegovina, with a special feeling for the emotions of that people. He often starts his stories in a simple way, akin to Matavulj, for instance, but later, into the chronicle of the war and post-war years he introduces mythology and miracle.
Živorad Stojković: Had I received the manuscript of such a book of short stories as Fear of the Bells is, I would do the same as Alexander Twardowski did, who, after having read the first ten pages lying in his bed, realizing that he has got in his hands the manuscript of a true writer, he got up, put on his clothes and went on reading the manuscript with a feeling that he was participating in an extraordinarily important event for the literature.
Snežana Brajović: Picture Without Father is one of the best collections of short stories in our country published during the past few years… With his book Fear of the Bells Bratić has confirmed that he is one of the most important contemporary writers of short stories.
Milosav Mirković: Bratić writes his sentence masterfully, he uses words as a sculptor does clay.
Duško Novaković: The mind of Bratić’s characters gets free of prejudices and becomes engaged with everyday life. He establishes a new type of biography. But doubt and detriment do re-occur.
Dragan Orlović: The miracles which are already in the author’s being and reality he grasped give to us, skillfully vowing the language of everyday life into the language of literature, the art of storytelling, which obtain him a special place in the contemporary Serbian literature.
Božidar Milidragović: It is humour that is excellent in Bratić's novel. It is naïve and not pretentious, just as it is suitable for a real artist. He is soft like cotton, but also as sharp as a razor. (Doubt in the Biography)
Picture Without Father is the most extinguished book of short stories published in 1985.
Miloš Petrović: The characters of Bratić’s stories are placed in a village in Herzegovina – in Bish. These are small people of large soul and of bright mind. Fear of the Bells is a competition between poetical and brutal reality.
Jasmina Lukić: In his first novel Bratić introduced himself as a ripe novelist. He rules in full the technique of storytelling and formed his own expression.
In his fiction Bratić uses elements of the fantastic, elements of fairy tales, even that of folk poetry. In my opinion, this complexity, this work of filigree in the simple storytelling gives all the high values to Picture Without Father.
Fear of the Bells is a collection of short stories in which Bratić, using the standpoint of a child, reveals that terrible beauty of living in a world, which understands and explains itself through codes of the magic.
Miroljub Joković: History, myth and tradition of folk art are the scenery of Bratić's literary activities.
Velimir Visković: Bratić uses a new method of story telling. I have not noticed, in the Serbian fiction at least, that there would be anyone who creates novels in a similar way.
In Picture Without Father he made a very interesting thing: he combines continuously voices, by the orchestra of voices in the story he achieves very amusing effects. This method can be described in an easy and simple way: it is an amusing functional woven of various voices of narration.
Vojislav Lubarda: The Award having the name of Mesa Selimovic that unique and great author of the Serbian literature, is now in the hands of a writer who really deserves it. Bratić deserves it for two reasons: first, because he renews the best tradition of the Serbian storytelling, and second, he enriches storytelling with a so far unknown harmony of the Serbian language and with an unusual modern structure. Fear of the Bells is by its composition a book of beautiful short stories but also a novel at the same time. A book about a period of time which even today fills us with fear in a part of our country which has been created for and of storytelling.
Jovan Delić: An elastic and dynamic position of the storyteller has been taken by Bratić in his former books and it has been improved also in his Picture Without Father.
In Fear of the Bells Bratić uses unusually wide lexica in many spheres of life where we can expect to find just those who deserved to be there. His stylistic bravura reveals to us a writer who knows his language and the world he describes.
Miroslav Egerić: Bratić's new fiction (Picture Without Father) is exciting and powerful. It is a book, which becomes a further duty of the intellect, a principle of the creative measuring of strength and responsibility.
Vesna Roganović: The fictional "umbilical cord" with the tradition testifies also Bratić's folk-modernistic device: emotive point of view of a "boy who is guilty for everything" and corrects himself, not through reason which restrains inspiration when it "falls into the height (and depth)" in Hölderlin’s words, but through humour.
Čedomir Mirković: Radoslav Bratić has got something of Nastijevic’s gift and ability to settle language with magic, poetic magic, so that magic is derivate from language. (Picture Without Father)
Fear of the Bells is a collection of short stories with unique entities, compactness, with askance angle of view, which creates a seemingly childish point of view with suitable narrative dramaturgy.
Vuk Krnjević: Bratić is not of those authors who convince his readers. He gives them the possibility to add on his work of art. (Doubt in the Biography)
This is a marvelous creation in the language of a rural concept of the world. It is, at the same time, lyrically soft, boyishly insolent and sophisticated as literature… (Picture Without Father)
Radivoje Mikić: Bratić’s novel Death of the Saviour shows a diversity of forms.
Evil coming from the authorities… is connected with images of evil emerging from great depth of general memory.
Nikolaj Timčenko: Doubt in the Biography is a fiction that authentically interprets the reality of a tragic experience. The magic charms of Bratić’s storytelling lead the reader in the height of stars and into depth and darkness of shafts. By the beauty of storytelling he shades fear of evil and way of life which make the boy’s experience of the world in this book akin to and made of magic charms.
Marko Nedić: Bratić’s first novel is built on the rich layers of folk storytelling, curses, mythological scenes, tales given in fully subjective and individual discourse of fiction.
Bratić’s hero in Doubt in the Biography confirms to be a modern literary character.
Žarko Rošulj: Humorous and full of good will when speaking of evil, Bratić is really an excellent story teller.
Radmila Popović: The novel Doubt in the Biography is a work of art of modern sensibility, device and form. Bratić has got that gift for storytelling as his fellowmen from Herzegovina do. He has got a good sense for noticing details and nuances, powerful imagination and beautiful language. Bratić is a storyteller who is read carefully and listened to captivated.
Mirko Kovač: Bratić opens the door of the mythic area of Herzegovina as the door of his own home. He is self-confident here, he has got a rich lexica and mystic voices. He has got his own language. He tells stories and listens to them at the same time. He is astonished by the «extent of naivity», but he laughs at tragic events. He bends what is fantastaic and real in an unseen way. He is capable to tell everything that exists and to describe everthing he sees. Sometimes he is melancholic, but mainly witty. He is clever when he finds himself in a dead end street, he changes everything quickly. Bratić's stories are stirring, but he does his best to make his reader everything easier and so he uses jokes and humour. The one who suffers is always the Boy, he who tells us about all terrible things and events.
Đorđe Pisarev: Fear of the Bells has won thirty nine votes of grand Yugoslav jury for the "Mesa Selimovic" Award. This year eighty-one literary critics, theoreticians and historians took part in the work of this jury.
Borislav Pekić: In his short stories Bratić has made up his own Magic Hill situated also in Herzegovina and as well as on one of the hills of Belgrade.
Rajendra Awasti, India: Bratić's stories are close also to readers in this quite different culture.
Exile, Canada: Bratić demonstrates great skill and success both in short stories and novels.
Contemporary International Literature, Moscow: Bratić is a true meastro in playing with history.
Publikum, Vienna: In Bratić's fiction scenes from his native Herzegovina, full of powerful language and humour, are intermingled with modern techniques of writing.
World Literature Today, Oklahoma: Bratić knows what and how to say. His idioms are full of subtile humour pointing out the nature of his heroes.
Literature na swiecie, Warszaw: Bratić's hero tries to oppose to myths of his childhood that determine his life in advance.