My Name Is Bosnia by Madeleine GagnonMy Name Is Bosnia by Madeleine Gagnon

My Name Is Bosnia

byMadeleine GagnonTranslated byPhyllis Aronoff, Howard Scott

Paperback | September 1, 2006

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Sabaheta is a literature student at the University of Sarajevo when war breaks out in Bosnia-Herzegovina. After her brother is taken from the family by armed thugs and her mother descends into madness, she goes into the forest with her father to join the guerrillas, where she dresses like a boy and fights side-by-side with the men.When her father is killed in combat, Sabaheta gives him a makeshift funeral and vows one day to leave her homeland and seek acountry where she can pursue her studies and live in peace. Although she is not an observant Muslim, she decides once again to wear the traditional headscarf, and changes her name to Bosnia, making her way alone to Sarajevo to reunite with her friends. After many months, having burned every available piece of furniture to keep warm, they are forced to burn their books, their most precious possessions. Chapter by chapter, they consign each book to memory before setting it alight, and then reciteit by heart in front of the fire.Finally escaping their genocidal homeland, they rise from its ashes of violence and hatred, remaking themselves in the images kept in their hearts of a fabled new life in a foreign land. My Name Is Bosnia is Madeleine Gagnon's celebration of the power of the imagination to heal and remake our lives.
Madeleine Gagnon Madeleine Gagnon has made a mark on Quebec literature as a poet, novelist, and non-fiction writer. Since 1969, she has published over 30 books while at the same time teaching literature in several Quebec universities. Nancy Huston has described Madeleine Gagnon as someone in whom the boundary between inner and out...
Title:My Name Is BosniaFormat:PaperbackDimensions:256 pages, 9 × 6 × 1 inPublished:September 1, 2006Publisher:Talon Books LtdLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0889225427

ISBN - 13:9780889225428

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Rated 4 out of 5 by from Interesting look into war and europe When war breaks out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sabaheta is just a regular university student. But war changes everything. Her brother is taken away and her mom goes crazy, which sends her to an asylum. Sabaheta cuts her hair and takes to the forest with her father to fight. When her father is killed, she renames herself Bosnia, acknowledging that she may someday have to leave her country, and heads into the city. 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.
Date published: 2008-09-06

Editorial Reviews

“A complex, poignant novel of limpid writing, infused with poetry, freely descriptive, My Name Is Bosnia is a resonant voice against hatred and violence, against all wars and the suffering they engender, against the lapse of memory and oblivion.”—Le Devoir“A novel of the wounded and the exiled, My Name Is Bosnia is also a song of hope and freedom. Against the horror of war, Gagnon counters with the salvation of love … and writing. Against the coldness and indifference of the world, she counters with the warmth and richness of her literary voice.”—Elle Québec