I Saw Her That Night, a love story in time of war, is a novel about a few years in the life and mysterious disappearance of Veronika Zarnik, a young bourgeois woman from Ljubljana, sucked into the whirlwind of a turbulent period in history. We follow her story from the perspective of five different characters, who also talk about themselves, as well as the troubled Slovenian times before and during World War II; times that swallowed, like a Moloch, not only the people of various beliefs involved in historical events, but also those who lived on the fringes of tumultuous events, which they did not even fully comprehend—they only wanted to live. But “only” to live was an illusion: it was a time when, even under the seemingly safe and idyllic shelter of a manor house in Slovenia, it was impossible to avoid the rushing train of violence.
Drago Jančar won both the Best Foreign Book Prize (Prix du meilleur livre etranger) and The Kresnik Award for I Saw Her That Night. Often described as "the seismologist of a chaotic history," the celebrated Slovenian novelist has received a number of other honors, including the European Prize for Literature (Prix Européen de Littérature).
"The economy with which Jancar creates memorable characters and moments while never letting the reader forget the war, the tumult of Yugoslavia, or the incursion of communism is astonishing." -Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review
"Friendship and betrayal, hope and guilt and the torment of remembering are Jancar’s themes. His liquid balancing of illusion and reality sustains this kaleidoscopic, communal war novel, which moves relentlessly towards an obvious yet symbolic act of violence." -Irish Times