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Book cover with an illustration of a young woman that seems to have snakes (or penises) instead of hair and lies naked in a fetal position.


Mladinska knjiga založba

Country: Slovenia 

Original title: Adna

Original Language: Slovenian


Age group: 16+

Categories: Fiction, illustration

Inclusive towards: Sexuality, socio-economic background, migration


Author-illustrator: Samira Kentrić


Number of pages: 128

Format (in mm): 200 X 200


Info on right holder: Mladinska Knjiga


When it comes to publishing in Slovenia, Mladinska knjiga is a household name. For more than 70 years we have successfully maintained the status of the largest publishing house in Slovenia with extensive fiction and nonfiction lists for all generations as well as magazines for children and teenagers. We take pride in achieving the highest standards of quality at all levels. Special attention is devoted to picture books. Renowned award-winning authors and illustrators and the highest quality content and design - these are only some of the reasons why our picture books appeal to readers and publishers all over the world. To find out more about what we have to offer, you are warmly invited to visit our website at


The idea for the book Adna came from the illustrated booklet Letter to Adna (Beletrina, 2016), in which a farewell letter and the circumstances in which it is written end Adna’s never very carefree childhood. The story, told by artist Samira Kentrić primarily through pictures, is continued and built on in this work through the adult Adna, who wants the girl to be given a chance and herself describes her attitude towards the circumstances and the people who surrounded her in the past, and still do.

Adna, a girl in her early twenties, comes face to face with the memory of her refugee past. She wonders about the meaning of existence after the deaths of loved ones, but is unable to share her traumatic experience with anyone. Although she is quite fortunate that her guardian provides her with a materially and intellectually dignified life and she is seemingly well integrated into the society in which she finds herself, she remains alone. She has no problems making contacts, she does well in new circumstances, but she carefully hides who she really is from the outside world. She has control over her appearance and over her sexuality, but deep inside her there remains a locked-up pain, right up until the day her world unexpectedly starts to spin differently and forces her into opening up and stepping forward.

The graphic novel Adna was created over the years from 2016 to 2020. During this period the author made over 130 illustrations. The pictures were the first to be created, and arranged into a story during the process of creation. Samira Kentrić’s powerful images are searingly direct, relevant, and uncompromising, remaining with us long after we put the book down. The countless references to current events and political realities as well as social and art history lend themselves to different and repeated readings. The author expresses her strong social conscience and engagement through these images, and at the very end, knits them together with an exceptional text that reveals the background to the images and tells the intimate story of a girl who, after a traumatic experience and a long period of numbness, lives a full life and finds meaning in it. 

Adna’s story is universal and timeless – each one of us must overcome our own obstacles along the path to adulthood and find the strength and courage for change and a search for the meaning of existence. All that differs are the circumstances.

Image of a sealed envelope. The seal reads 'Adna'.

Info on the author-illustrator:

Samira Kentrić (1976) is a visual artist and graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts and Design at the University of Ljubljana, majoring in visual communications. In her art, she combines public and political speech with the intimate, and through her works communicates that which is unreflected, unpleasant, and hidden in society. She has been a member of the Eclipse artistic tandem for many years, and in recent years she has also led art workshops for vulnerable groups. She has done the art work for many books and newspapers, collaborates with several publishing houses and lyricists, and has published books of her own (Balkanalia, Beletrina, 2015; Letter to Adna, Beletrina, 2016). She is the recipient of various accolades and awards; among others, she received a commendation from the jury for artistic images from the novel in progress Adna at the 13th Slovenian Biennial of Illustration.

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