The six stories – roughly connected through the voice of the first-person narrator – unfold over the 1400 day-long siege of Sarajevo. The war itself is not the main topic, it merely lends context, mostly crouching in the background, and only occasionally bursting with full force into the foreground, into that tightening horizon that’s being encroached in by violence and in front of which the stories unfold: A delicately-woven web of micro-stories that spans through time and space, where one story playfully references the other, and where yet everything remains unexplained. With this volume of stories, published in Sarajevo in 1996, and which received the accolade for the best book of the year by the Bosnian Writers Association, Alma Lazarevska confabulated an unique and therefore valid reply to war: through the power of story-telling she tries to keep up the appearance of normal daily life, focusing on trivial and overlooked things, withdrawing from the over-bearing logic that divides the world into an inside and outside, a here and a there. It’s a way to fantasies one’s way out of it all – just like in that photograph with the picture of the first-person narrator who finds her way through the besieged city to the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
Bosnia and Herzegovina