Slavenka Drakulić


S. may very well be one of the strongest books about war you will ever read. . . .The writing is taut, precise, and masterful.”

Set in 1992, during the height of the Bosnian war, S. reveals one of the most horrifying aspects of any war: the rape and torture of civilian women by occupying forces. S. is the story of a Bosnian woman in exile who has just given birth to an unwanted child—one without a country, a name, a father, or a language. Its birth only reminds her of an even more grueling experience: being repeatedly raped by Serbian soldiers in the “women’s room” of a prison camp. Through a series of flashbacks, S. relives the unspeakable crimes she has endured, and in telling her story—timely, strangely compelling, and ultimately about survival—depicts the darkest side of human nature during wartime.

 


Today in Eastern Europe the architectural work of revolution is complete: the old order has been replaced by various forms of free market economy and de jure democracy. But as Slavenka Drakulic observes, “in everyday life, the revolution consists much more of the small things—of sounds, looks and images.” In this brilliant work of political reportage, filtered through her own experience, we see that Europe remains a divided continent. In the place of the fallen Berlin Wall there is a chasm between East and West, consisting of the different way people continue to live and understand the world. Little bits—or intimations—of the West are gradually making their way east: boutiques carrying Levis and tiny food shops called “Supermarket” are multiplying on main boulevards. Despite the fact that Drakulic can find a Cafe Europa, complete with Viennese-style coffee and Western decor, in just about every Eastern European city, the acceptance of the East by the rest of Europe continues to prove much more elusive.


In a series of beautiful, impassioned essays, Croatian journalist and feminist Drakulic provides a very real and human side to the Balkans war and shows how the conflict has affected her closest friends, colleagues, and fellow countrymen–both Serbian and Croatian. Includes five new essays not in the hardcover edition.