The Bridge on the Drina by Ivo Andrić
The Bridge on the Drina (Serbo-Croatian: Na Drini ćuprija, Serbian Cyrillic: На Дрини ћуприја) is a historical novel by the Yugoslav writer Ivo Andrić. It revolves around the Mehmed Paša Sokolović Bridge in Višegrad, which spans the Drina River and stands as a silent witness to history from its construction by the Ottomans in the mid-16th century until its partial destruction during World War I. The story spans about four centuries and covers the Ottoman and Austro-Hungarian occupations of the region, with a particular emphasis on the lives, destinies and relations of the local inhabitants, especially Serbs and Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks). Andrić had been Yugoslavia's ambassador to Germany from 1939 to 1941, during the early years of World War II, and was arrested by the Germans in April 1941, following the Axis invasion of Yugoslavia. In June 1941, he was allowed to return to German-occupied Belgrade but was confined to a friend's apartment in conditions that some biographers liken to house arrest. The novel was one of three that Andrić wrote over the next several years. All three were published in short succession in 1945, following Belgrade's liberation from the Nazis. The Bridge on the Drina was published in March of that year to widespread acclaim. In 1961, Andrić was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature and his works became subject to international recognition. The Bridge on the Drina remains Andrić's best-known work. The Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica is planning a cinematic adaption of the novel, for which he has constructed a mock-town named after Andrić not far from the bridge, which was reconstructed after World War I and has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.