My Name Is Bosnia (ARC)
ISBN: 0889225427 Global Overview for this book
4 journalers for this copy...
"Leaving is dying a little, dying to oneself. And it is living fully as that other person one has so often dreamed of becoming. While one has to leave for elsewhere in order to achieve this, it is at home that the dream is first imagined" (19).
My Name is Bosnia is the story of one girl's experience of war and exile told with a poet's gift for language and observation.
When war breaks out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sabaheta, a non-practicing Muslim who renames herself "Bosnia" when she first begins to imagine the possibility of leaving her homeland, is a university student. Unlike many of her loved ones, Bosnia survives the conflict, first in the forest with her father and the Bosnian guerrillas and then in Sarajevo where she and her friends are forced to burn their books for fuel.
My Name is Bosnia is written with an understanding unimaginable in a person who has not lived through war. Clearly informed by Gagnon's work on Women in a World at War (Talonbooks, 2003), the novel is beautifully-wrought treatise on war, suffering, recovery, and the world today.
Author Nancy Huston has described Madeleine Gagnon as "someone in whom the boundary between inner and outer life is porous, her words are poetry and her ear for the words of others is poetry too. Everything she takes in from the world is filtered, processed, transformed by the insistent rhythms of the songs within her" (publisher's website).
I'll be passing it along to HoserLauren on Saturday.
This one sounds so interesting, I'm looking forward to reading it.
The city, though, is no safer than the forest. There's constant shooting and shelling, killing citizens. Bosnia finds some friends and shacks up with them for the duration of the war. The situation turns from bad to worse when food and firewood runs out and the group resorts of tearing up books and using them for kindle. Bosnia also befriends a soldier, Adem, and eventually falls in love with him. With the latest round of killing, Bosnia and Adem decide they can no longer live in their beloved city, but must move away from the war. They move to France and, eventually, to Quebec.
The book is separated into three parts representing where the couple is: Bosnia, France, and Quebec. The first part is about the war and Bosnia finding Adem. This was by far the most interesting part of the book. I wish I had more of a background on the history to better understand what the characters were going through.
Sometime between Bosnia and France, Bosnia's mom got better and was no longer crazy. How does someone go from being crazy and not being able to talk to being sane and making sense? I didn't understand that one. This is where the book went downhill a bit. Things just seemed to drag on and there wasn't much point to it. When the characters then traveled to Quebec, the book wrapped up nicely.
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I just couldn't get over the big book format. I am sending this on to Kiri who picked it out of a VBB.