Steps Through the Mist :: Zoran Živković

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Steps Through the Mist

by Zoran Živković

Translated from Serbian by Alice Copple-Tošić
Part of The Zoran Živković Collection

Five women of various ages face, each in her own way, what seems to be the deterministic trap of Fate: a freshman in a girls’ boarding school with the strange ability to share other people’s dreams; a young woman in a straitjacket, desperately trying to locate a very particular future; a middle-aged skier refusing to be just a puppet on a string; an elderly fortune-teller with insufficient faith in her own trade; finally, an old lady whose very precious alarm clock is suddenly broken. And engulfing all of them, a strange mist through which no-one can see clearly…

A November 2007 BookSense Notable Book
Winner of the 2008 Gold Award for Superb Craftsmanship from the Detroit Club of Printing House Craftsmen

Also included in Impossible Stories I


  • There is a deceptive simplicity to Živković’s characteristic stark settings, his ordinary if rather neurotic characters, and his elegantly mannered prose (translated impeccably as usual by Alice Copple-Tošić). We notice trends and patterns in the stories, how all those who encounter the mist of the book’s title, out of which knowledge of the future emerges, are women; ironic given women’s historic struggle to control their own fate. … Yet despite the patterns and the scientific references Živković’s works are to be felt more than known, as the stories themselves often remind us. One judges these mosaics not by how directly they address their concern, but by how completely they encompass it.
    —Matt Denault, Boomtron
  • [It] isn’t so much a literary work to be read as it is one to be reveled in. Like a great work of abstract art, this surrealistic novel–about five women who contend with fate in very different ways–is layered with subtle symbolism and nuance, and should be savored slowly.
    — Publisher’s Weekly
  • With this book, Zoran Živković demonstrates why he is one of the great, although unheralded, masters of the contemporary fantasy. Steps through the Mist is a must have for people who like their fiction a little surreal and a lot off center.
    —Rick Klaw,
  • It’s a thoughtful, thought-provoking and I have to say faintly disquieting volume, one that raises the sort of questions about the way we move through our lives, and the predetermination or otherwise of our actions, that I for one find are best faced in the company of good friends and with the aid of a couple of bottles of good wine.
  • Another artful, mathematically perfect creation
    —Miranda Siemienowicz, Horrorscope


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