|About the Book|
But let me come straight to the point. Bosnia is a wonderful country, fascinating, with nothing ordinary in the habitat or people. And just as there are mineral riches under the earth in Bosnia, so undoubtedly are Bosnians rich in hidden moral values, which are more rarely found in their compatriots in other Yugoslav lands. But, you see, theres one thing that the people of Bosnia, at least people of your kind, must realize and never lose sight of--Bosnia is a country of hatred and fear.The devastating floods which smashed through Bosnia and Serbia over the weekend shadowed my reading of these stories. During the brightest of summer days these tales would depress most anyone. Factoring in the present suffering overseas made them often unbearable. I have only slept a single night in Bosnia but I did visit Andrics apartment in Belgrade last year. I doubt if any of that informs much, but it remains interesting. There are floods in this collection. There is also treachery. What reigns though is the supremacy and indifference of mortality. The stories, except for the titular one, are set in Bosnia. The Damned Yard occurs in a Turkish prison in Stamboul.What remains strange about this collection is a single omission. There are priests and viziers, merchants and drunks. There are artists and investigators, but there is a dearth of revolutionaries. I cant help but ponder whether that mirrors or distorts any thoughts or preconditions by the masterful diplomat, Nobel Laureate and writer.