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“1001 Books you must read before you die” recommends AS IF I AM NOT THERE

On page 881 the book 1001 Books you must read before you die (ed. Peter Boxall) recommends a novel As If I Am Not There by Slavenka Drakulic.

 First published: 1999

First published in: Feral Tribune (Split)

Original title: Kao da me nema

The Croatian journalist Slavenka Drakulic is one of the most insightful and evenhanded observers of recent Balkan history. Her novel As If I Am Not There is set in Bosnia in the years 1992 and 1993. The narrative tells of the horrifying experiences endured by S. – a schoolteacher of mixed Serbian and Bosnian heredity – when Serbian forces enter her village. S. spends months in an all female compound of a Serbian concentration camp where she is subjected to continual sexual violence and beatings. The novel culminates with her arrival in Scandinavia as a refugee – pregnant, homeless, and ambivalent about her unborn son, conceived during a gang rape in the camp. What is more, S. is unable to find and individual or a community who will listen to her story without judgment.

Told in sparse, unflinching detail, devoid of literary tricks, this is a haunting novel. Simply told but morally complex, it draws powerful links between warfare, masculinity, sexual violence, and the female body, but offers no simplistic conclusions. Most strikingly, the novel refuses to demonize Serbia in its depiction of the war, and the use of initials to identify characters means that questions of nationality and religion are handled with great subtlety. We are asked to see each character in his or her own light, as an agent and an actor, as flexibly rational, as well as terrifyingly irrational. Samuel Thomas

US Book Tour – List of Events

During March and April , Slavenka Drakulic will visit several universities and colleges in Canada and the US in order to promote her new book ” A Guided Tour Through the Museum of Communism”:

http://www.newschool.edu/eventdetail.aspx?id=58362
http://germanicandslavic.uwaterloo.ca/SlavenkaDrakulicEvent.htm

List of Events

3/20 & 3/21
Canada
UNIVERSITY OF WATERLOO/Department of Germanic & Slavic Studies

3/24/2011 07:00 PM
Indianapolis, IN
BOXCAR BOOKS

03/22 – 03/25
Indianapolis, IN
UNIVERSITY OF INDIANA BLOOMINGTON/Russian and East European Institute

03/25 – 04/01
Richmond, VA
HAMPDEN-SIDNEY COLLEGE/Government & Foreign Affairs

3/29/2011
Lexington, VA
UNIVERSITY OF WASHINGTON AND LEE/Department of Sociology and Anthropology

3/31/2011
Lynchburg, VA
RANDOLPH COLLEGE/Experiential Learning Center

4/3/2011
Miami – Fort Lauderdale, FL
BOOKS & BOOKS
bookstore.

4/4/2011
Miami – Fort Lauderdale, FL
FLORIDA ATLANTIC UNIVERSITY/Peace Studies

04/05 & 04/06
Washington, DC
UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND/Department of Government and Politics

4/6/2011
Washington, DC
UNIVERSITY OF GEORGETOWN/CENTER FOR EURASIAN, RUSSIAN AND EAST EUROPEAN STU

4/7/2011
04:30 PM
Newark, NJ
PRINCETON UNIVERSITY/History Department

4/8/2011
06:00 PM
New York, NY
NEW SCHOOL
In conversation with The Nation’s Katha Pollitt

4/8/2011
12:00 PM to 02:00 PM
New York, NY
NEW YORK UNIVERSITY/Institute for Humanities

4/11/2011
05:00 PM
Hartford – New Haven, CT
YALE UNIVERSITY/Department of History

4/12/2011
04:00 PM
Hartford – New Haven, CT
YALE UNIVERSITY/Davenport College  – Master’s Tea

4/13/2011 07:00 PM
Boston, MA
BACK PAGES BOOKS

4/13/2011
Boston, MA
BRANDEIS UNIVERSITY/Center for German and European Studies

4/14/2011
04:00 PM
Boston, MA
HARVARD UNIVERSITY/Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies