Ljuba Prenner

Author: Ljuba Prenner

Profile: Ljuba Prenner was a Slovene writer and lawyer in the interwar period. He was born in Fara, Carinthia, Austria-Hungary and died in Ljubljana, Socialist Republic of Slovenia, Yugoslavia. At birth Ljuba was assigned as female however was identified as male at a younger age and gradually as a teenager began attaining a male appearance. His family was not well to do and often moved during his childhood after which they settled in Slovenj Gradec. He had to often change schools due to lack of funds.

In 1930 he completed his graduation from high school and joined University of King Alexander I to study law. It was around this time that he started publishing, tutored students and sold his writing to earn a living. Ljuba Prenner published a number of novels and short stories including the first Slovenian detective story. In 1941 he completed his doctorate, started law practice and earned reputation for defending those accused of crimes against the state and political prisoners. The communist regime imprisoned him many times for his strong sense of judicial independence and combative manner in the courtroom. The Slovene Writer’s Association expelled him after which he was not able to publish till about some time before his death.

In 1950 Prenner was released and he started a campaign to restore his law license. In 1968 he was allowed to practice again and was popular for winning more cases than losing. He gave a speech at the centennial celebrations of the Bar Association in 1968 and was appointed as permanent German-language court interpreter for Slovenia in 1970.


Writing style: Ljuba Prenner has written his semi-autobiographical novels from a male perspective, his gravitation to men’s social groups, his masculine style and the way he has used masculine language in reference to himself.

Published Texts:

1929 – Skok, Cmok in Jokica

1929 – Trojica (in Slovenian)

1931 – Jutra (in Slovenian)

1936-1938 – Revija Zenski svet (in Slovenian)

1936 – Zivljenje za hrbtom (in Slovenian)

1939 – Neznani storilec (in Slovenian)

1943 – Veliki moz (in Slovenian)

1945 – Vasovalci (in Slovenian)

1967 – Gordijski vozel (in Slovenian)

1988 – Slovo od mladosti (Preseren) (in Slovenian)

2006 – Bruc: roman neznanega slovenskega študenta (in Slovenian).

2007 – Odsevanja (in Slovenian)


Awards and Acknowledgements:

Nova Revija published Prenners’ biography drawing on interviews with acquaintances.

Included in the 2oo7 publication (Forgotten Half: Portraits of Women of the 19th and 20th Centuries in Slovenia).

Prenner’s place has been assessed in Slovenian history by other scientific and literary works since Yugoslavia’s dissolution.

The Carinthian Provincial Museum has a memorial hall dedicated in memory of Prenner housing his artifacts and papers.

A documentary (The Good Man: Ljuba Prenner) of Prenner’s life is premiered by director Boris Jurjasevic on the centennial of his birth.

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