Dubravka Ugresic was born in 1949 in (what used to be) Yugoslavia, in its republic Croatia. She earned her degrees in Comparative Literature and Russian Language and Literature at the University of Zagreb, and worked for twenty years at the Institute for Theory of Literature at Zagreb University, successfully pursuing parallel careers as a writer and a literary scholar.
She started writing professionally with screenplays for children’s television programmes, as an undergraduate. She went on to publish three children’s books before concentrating on works for adults.
Prizes awarded to Dubravka Ugresic include the Prix Europeen de l’ Essai Charles Veillon (European Essay Award Charles Veillon) from Switzerland in 1996; the Versetsprijs 1997, Stichting Kunstenaarsverzet 1942 – 1945 (Artists in Resistance Prize) from the Netherlands in 1997; the SWF-Bestenliste Literaturpreis (Sud-West-Funk Bestlist Literary Award) from Germany in 1998; the Felix Meritis Foundation Amsterdam Prize from the Netherlands in 1999; the Osterreichischen Staatspreis fur Europaische Literatur 1998 (Austrian State Prize for European Literature) from Vienna, Austria in 1999; the Heinrich Mann Preis, Akademie Der Kunste Berlin from Germany in 2000; the Premio Feronia – Citta di Fiano from Italy in 2004 and the PEN Writers in Translation Award from the UK in 2006. She was also shortlisted for the The Independent Foreign Fiction Prize in the UK in 2006; the Angelus Central European Literary Award in Poland in 2007 and the Prix Femina-Roman Etranger in France in 2008.
She teaches occasionally at American and European universities, but works mainly as a freelance writer. She lives in Amsterdam.