From journalist John Nadler comes a real-life Romeo and Juliet story set in war-torn Kosovo.
Nadler has stumbled upon a bitter epic romance in the ashes of inter-ethnic strife in the former Yugoslavia. The cast: a pair of star-cross’d lovers, a young Kosovar man and a Serb woman; the girl’s father, a local militiaman who is determined to crush the relationship; and a war correspondent in the role of Friar Lawrence, entrusted with the commission of reuniting the lovers.
Gjorg escapes the slaughter of his village by feigning death and fleeing while Serb troops invade his town. His fiancée Sofia disappears — whisked away to Serbia, Gjorg believes, by her father, who is later implicated in a massacre. Gjorg, languishing in nato-held Kosovo, despairs of ever seeing his Sofia again. Until Nadler agrees to help find her.
Always just a step behind, Nadler follows Sofia’s trail from her village through the flashpoints and tinderboxes of the Balkans: Mitrovica, the Presovo Valley, Macedonia, and, finally, Belgrade. He witnesses the sickening decay of Yugoslavia — once a dynamic, cosmopolitan and prosperous nation — manifested in the endemic suspicion, the burnt and shell-pocked buildings, the ravaged communities, and the broken lives.
Searching for Sofia is a Balkan odyssey, a quest through dangerous terrain for an ever-elusive goal, a campaign for justice and, ultimately, an exploration, through the eyes of its victims, of the madness of internecine war.
John Nadler is a contributing correspondent to CanWest Newspapers, Canada’s largest newspaper chain, and writes for Variety magazine. His articles have appeared in Time, Maclean’s, Canadian Business, Ottawa Citizen, The Gazette (Montreal), National Post, and The Independent (UK). He lives in Hungary.
Ebook | $9.99
Published by Anchor Canada Jul 27, 2011| 416 Pages| ISBN 9780385672191
“Nadler is a talented writer and . . . an excellent journalist. . . . [There is] brilliant writing here on the aftermath of Serb atrocities and NATO bombings in Kosovo.” —National Post
“Riveting . . . . As a commentary on the brutality of war, Nadler’s first-hand account is valuable and moving. . . . His reporter’s eye — and a memorable supporting cast of Balkan characters — give the book its best moments and its real strength.” —Edmonton Journal
“Nadler is a fluid and lucid writer.” —Winnipeg Free Press
“Obviously well-informed and surrounded by good local sources, Nadler creates an impressive mosaic of testimonies told by primary witnesses.” —The Globe and Mail
“Nadler’s book is a stroke of originality among the legion of journalists’ memoirs of the Balkan wars. In terms of portraying the impact of ethnic division on individual human lives, there is little better to be read on any conflict, not only the former Yugoslavia.” —Neil Barnett, correspondent for Jane’s Defence Weekly