Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (Ogulin, 18 April 1874 - Zagreb, 21 September 1938) is a Croatian writer who is recognized in Croatia and in the world as one of the most important writers for children.
She comes from the famous intellectual civic family of Mažuranić. Father Vladimir Mažuranić was a writer, lawyer and historian. Her grandfather was the famous politician, Croatian ban and poet Ivan Mažuranić, and her grandmother Aleksandra Mažuranić was the sister of the linguist and writer Dimitrije Demetra.
She studied privately and acquired an excellent education, including knowledge of foreign languages, so some of her first literary attempts were in French. With her family, she first moved from Ogulin to Karlovac, then to Jastrebarsko and finally to Zagreb.
When she married the lawyer and politician Vatroslav Brlić in 1892, Ivana moved to Brod na Savi (today Slavonski Brod), where she lived most of her life, which she dedicated to her family, education and literary work.
As a mother of seven children, she had the opportunity to get acquainted with the child's psyche and thus understand the purity and naivety of their world.
Raised in the national spirit with her husband Vatroslav, she is involved in public life in the circles of the leaders of the people's movement. Bishop Josip Juraj Strossmayer awarded her a gold medal for her anti-Hungarian efforts.
Ivana published her first collection Valid and Invalid in 1902 in her own edition, for family and friends, in 1906 her book School and Holidays was published, in 1912 a book of poems Pictures, and the following year the Strange Adventures of Apprentice Hlapić was published. definitely drew attention to herself as a writer.
A real success followed in 1916 with the publication of Stories from Antiquity, inspired by Slavic mythology.
Ivana Brlić Mažuranić
The Academy nominated her twice (1931, 1938) for the Nobel Prize, accepting her in 1937 as its (corresponding) member as the first woman to be awarded such an honor.
Critics considered her prose a unique synthesis of life idealism, natural expression and delicacy of rare humor (A. G. Matoš), so although she wrote for children, she was praised by colleagues (A. B. Šimić, D. Domjanić) and literary historians (A. Barac).
The school book established the Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić Literary Prize in 1971 to promote literary creativity for children and youth.
Often called Croatian Andersen (for her virtuosity as a children's storyteller) and Croatian Tolkien (for reaching into the fantastic world of mythology) Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić, with her originality and freshness, stands side by side with the greats of world children's literature. Her works have been translated into all major world languages.
Yet, despite numerous families and literary successes, like many other acclaimed writers, she lived to see the end of her life - alone and lonely. During her life, she went to well-known health resorts to overcome health crises, but in a fit of depression, Ivana committed suicide in Zagreb's Srebrnjak Hospital in 1938.