Couple of days ago on the community weblog MetaFilter there was a post about Croatian fairy-tale author Ivana Brlić-Mažuranić (1874-1938), known also as the “Croatian Andersen” or “Croatian Tolkien”. Her most famous fairy-tale collection, Croatian Tales of Long Ago (1916), was adapted as a flash animation couple of years ago, some of which can be viewed online, and there’s also the original book in English translation (1923) available at Internet Archive …
Ivana was born in Ogulin, a town in north-western Croatia, and lived most of her life in Brod na Savi (today Slavonski Brod). She was the granddaughter of the famous politician, the Croatian ban and poet Ivan Mažuranić, and she was also the first woman accepted into what is today the Croatian Academy of Sciences and Arts in 1937.
Her book Croatian Tales of Long Ago (Priče iz davnine), published in 1916, is among the most popular today in large part because of its adaptation into a computerized interactive fiction product by Helena Bulaja in 2003/2006. In the book Mažuranić created a series of new fairy-tales, but using names and motifs from the Slavic mythology of Croats. It was this that earned her comparisons to Hans Christian Andersen and J.R.R. Tolkien who also wrote completely new stories but based in some elements of real mythology.
Brlić-Mažuranić was nominated for the Nobel Prize in literature twice, in 1931 and in 1938. She died on September 21, 1938 in Zagreb, committing suicide after suffering from depression.