In the spring of 1992, Irena Zaric is a star on her Sarajevo
high school basketball team, a tough, funny teenager who has taught her parrot,
Pretty Bird, to do a decent imitation of a ball hitting a hoop. Irena wears her
hair short like k.d. lang's, and she loves Madonna, Michael Jordan, and Johnny
Depp. But while Irena rocks out and shoots baskets with her friends, her beloved
city has become a battleground. When the violence and terror of "ethnic
cleansing" against Muslims begins, Irena and her family, brutalized by Serb
soldiers, flee for safety across the river that divides the city.
If once Irena knew of war only from movies and history books, now she knows its
reality. She steals from the dead to buy food. She scuttles under windows in her
own home to dodge bullets. She risks her life to communicate with an old Serb...
Beyond the Book
is the host of National Public Radio's Weekend
Edition with Scott Simon. He has covered ten wars (including the Sarajevo siege)
from El Salvador to Iraq, and has won every major award in broadcasting,
including the Peabody and the Emmy. His memoir, Home and Away
, rose to the top of the Los Angeles Times
nonfiction bestseller list. His second book, Jackie Robinson and the
Integration of Baseball
, was named Barnes & Noble's Sports Book of the Year.
He lives in Washington, D.C., with his wife and daughter.
is the historic and geographic name used to
South Eastern Europe. The region takes its name from...