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A Novel


Olga Babic receives a letter from the city council of Belgrade informing her that her house is to be requisitioned to build a monument to the massacre. ‘What massacre?’ she asks, aloud, to the empty house. ‘Which one?’

Three different architects visit her, and her house, to pitch for the job, each memorialising a different massacre, and each imagining a very different kind of monument. Olga’s focus, however, is on getting her two children back to the family house for a final dinner, and on whether any of the architects’ plans for their monuments will unearth the secret buried in the garden…

Taking in the complex history and geography of Belgrade, and the debates currently raging over monuments, statues, and the always contested past, Monumenta asks whether all family homes are, in fact, monuments to their own afflictions, joys, sorrows, and emotional massacres.

Monumenta was the recipient of a Bridport Prize in 2022, and will be published by Canongate in June 2024. 

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