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REMEMBERING BOSNIA: ‘Trusted Mole’ (Stankovic, 2000) reviewed by Robin Ashenden

‘Had it not been for the arrest, the book would never have been written… I would have just closed the door on the whole experience and moved on.’ Milos Stankovic is speaking about Trusted Mole: A Soldier’s Journey into Bosnia’s Heart of Darkness – his account of his spell as the longest serving British Soldier…

Robin Ashenden | December 17, 2015
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REMEMBERING BOSNIA: Sarajevo under Siege. Two books, reviewed by Judith Fagelson

In war-ravaged Bosnia in the 1990s, the UN’s largely symbolic interventions failed time and again to bring peace to the region. Partly as a result of the West’s inertia until the late stages of the war, tens of thousands of civilians lost their lives, and even more lost their homes. The siege of Sarajevo was…

Judith Fagelson | December 16, 2015
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REMEMBERING BOSNIA: ‘Fools Rush In’ (Bill Carter, 2004) reviewed by Valenka Navea

‘Grief produces an abundant energy that must find a way to burn itself up. And that is the fundamental problem, one that can take a lifetime to exhaust’. Bereaved, disillusioned and heartbroken at the age of 24, Bill Carter in the early ’90s felt the pull of besieged Sarajevo – a city whose devastation matched his own.…

Valenka Navea | December 12, 2015

REMEMBERING BOSNIA: ‘Zlata’s Diary’ – Q & A with Zlata Filipović, by Jo Varney

Zlata Filipović is a writer and documentary film maker living and working in Dublin, Ireland. Besides writing ‘Zlata’s Diary’ (1995, Puffin), an internationally best-selling account of the Siege of Sarajevo through the day-to-day reflections of a child, Zlata has co-edited with Melanie Challenger ‘Stolen Voices. Young People’s War Diaries, from World War 1 to Iraq’ (2006,…

Jo Varney | December 12, 2015
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REMEMBERING BOSNIA: The Graphic Novels of Joe Sacco – by Julia Secklehner

Journalist Joe Sacco wrote two graphic novels about his experiences in Bosnia, which, in a comprehensive and engaging manner, bring to light the complexities and horrors of the Bosnian War (1992-1995). As graphic novels, they give us not only words to follow, but also images – often finally detailed and showing us portraits of the…

Julia Secklehner | December 11, 2015
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Romanian Surrealist Gellu Naum – Centenary Celebrations, reviewed by Camelia Ciobanu

It’s one hundred years since the birth of Gellu Naum, Romania’s greatest Surrealist poet. Two recent London events notably marked this centenary: N(aum), a play brought from the Romanian stage to the Leicester Square Theatre, and Gellu Naum: The Incendiary Wanderer, an evening of readings and discussions at the Romanian Cultural Institute. Gellu Naum, born in…

Camelia Ciobanu | November 5, 2015
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‘Mission Balkans!’ Istros Books at the Bulgarian Cultural Institute, reviewed by Julia Secklehner

Organised by the British-Bulgarian Society at the Bulgarian Embassy,  ‘Mission Balkans!’, a title playing on Alek Popov’s book Mission London, was a talk with Susan Curtis-Kojakovic, founder of Istros Books, about her experiences publishing literature from the Balkans for a British audience. Interspersed with readings from some books she’s published – Hansen’s Children, Lying Rabbits and…

Julia Secklehner | November 1, 2015
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Balkan Nightmares: ‘Till Kingdom Come’ (Nikolaidis, Istros Books, 2015) reviewed by Robin Ashenden

Rating:

Anyone who thinks the Balkans have moved on from the 1990s should read  Andrej Nikolaidis’s Till Kingdom Come, impeccably translated by Will Firth and published now by Istros Books. This short novel, ostensibly about Montenegro today, is awash with paranoia: conspiracy theories, serial killers, natural disasters and the shifting meaning of recent Balkan atrocities. It’s…

Robin Ashenden | September 28, 2015