miss sarajevo (4)

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 | 12/12/2015

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 | 12/12/2015

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 | 11/12/2015
gellu naum1 (2)

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 | 05/11/2015

‘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 | 01/11/2015
till kingdom come (2)

Balkan Nightmares: ‘Till Kingdom Come’ (Nikolaidis, Istros Books, 2015) reviewed by Robin Ashenden


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 | 28/09/2015

Extract from Andrej Nikolaidis’s ‘Till Kingdom Come’ (Istros Books, 2015)

I don’t believe those stories about pristine beginnings. True, time spoils everything. And yes, everything gets worse over time. But what is prone to spoil is not necessarily good in the beginning. Everything is bad, even at its inception. Nor do I believe the stories about the wisdom pronounced by children in their alleged innocence. I’m sure there are…

Robin Ashenden | 28/09/2015