Not only does Gilion host the European Reading and TBR 22 in 22 on her Rose City Reader blog but also Book Beginnings on Friday. While I’m no stranger to her European Reading Challenge, only recently I decided to participate in Book Beginnings on Friday. This week I’m back with another post.
For Book Beginnings on Friday Gilion asks us to simply “share the opening sentence (or so) of the book you are reading this week, or just a book that caught your fancy and you want to highlight.”
MY BOOK BEGINNING
Sarajevo, the capital of Bosnia and Herzegovina, is the county’s largest city. Founded by Isa bey Ishakovic in 1440, it is also a typical Bosnian city. Built in the Milyatska River Valley, surrounded by mountains, Sarajevo is enclosed and isolated from the world, so to speak, cut off from everything external and turned wholly toward itself.
Last week I featured Icelandic author Ólafur Ólafsson’s 2019 novel The Sacrament and the week before it was David Gilmour’s 2011 The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples. This week it’s Dzevad Karahasan’s 1994 account of a city under siege Sarajevo, Exodus of a City.
Yet again I’ve opted to deviate from my originally designated 20 Books of Summer and instead read something for Rose City Reader’s European Reading Challenge. Since Sarajevo, Exodus of a City was translated from Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian I’ll also be applying towards Introverted Reader’s Books in Translation Reading Challenge.
Since the good people at Amazon said next to nothing about this book, other than it’s a “…firsthand account of the siege of Sarajevo and the flight of its citizens”, here’s how Publisher’s Weekly described it:
“I come from a destroyed country,” writes Karahasan, a Bosnian Muslim, in this collection of short pieces that range from elegiac meditations on Sarajevo to reflections on adjusting to life with snipers and shelling. Although translated with a clunkiness that is sadly characteristic of many Eastern European works published here, Karahasan’s account is often quietly devastating.