Cafe Europa: Life After Communism

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9780140277722: Cafe Europa: Life After Communism
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Today in Eastern Europe the architectural work of revolution is complete: the old order has been replaced by various forms of free market economy and de jure democracy.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.

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About the Author:

Slavenka Drakulic was born in Croatia in 1949. The author of several works of nonfiction and novels, she has written for The New York Times, The Nation, The New Republic, and numerous publications around the world.

From Kirkus Reviews:

Drakuli's eloquent and brave essays demand that the citizens of post-Communist Eastern Europe take personal responsibility for their roles in the new civil society. Over the past five years, Croatian journalist and novelist Drakuli (The Balkan Express, 1993; Holograms of Fear, 1992) has emerged in the English-speaking world as a consistent, honest, stylish, and canny interpreter of Eastern Europe and ex-Yugoslavia. Her latest contribution continues that tradition (some may argue to the point of repetition), offering Drakuli's trademark essays that reach for the pulse of a country or an era by homing in on everyday events and encounters. Like her previous work, Cafe Europa serves as a protest against an East European tendency, based on decades- long experience under paternalist dictators, to shirk civic responsibility. ``How does a person who is a product of a totalitarian society,'' she asks, ``learn responsibility, individuality, initiative? By saying `no.' '' Although her canvas encompasses all of the Balkans and Eastern Europe, her own Croatia bears the brunt of Drakuli's penetrating criticism. One unforgettable essay depicts Croatian president Franjo Tudjman as an object of vitriolic contempt. Both the everyday and the political milieu of post-Communist Croatia are ready subjects for Drakuli's combination of wit, scorn, and introspection. From the renaming of the streets and cutting down of trees in Zagreb, to a colleague's uncritical interview with an unrepentant Croatian Fascist, to the author's own experiences as a consumer in America and as a Croat in Israel, the Croatian essays form the backbone of this collection. Nevertheless, these 24 essays, written between 1992 and 1996, are informed by the author's image of the lands of Eastern Europe as the ``infantile nations of our continent,'' sharing a common desire--``our longing for Europe and all that it stands for.'' General readers interested in understanding the gritty realities of post-Communist Eastern Europe should grab a coffee and sit down with Cafe Europa. (Author tour) -- Copyright ©1996, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9780393040128: Cafe Europa: Life After Communism

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ISBN 10:  0393040127 ISBN 13:  9780393040128
Publisher: W W Norton & Co Inc, 1997
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Are these differences a communist legacy, or do they run even deeper? What divides us today? To say simply that it is the understanding of the past, or a different concept of time, is not enough. But a visitor to this part of the world will soon discover that the Eastern Europeans live in another time zone. They live in the twentieth century, but at the same time they inhabit a past full of myths and fairy tales, of blood and national belonging. Seller Inventory # AAS9780140277722

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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, United Kingdom, 1999. Paperback. Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. 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. Are these differences a communist legacy, or do they run even deeper? What divides us today? To say simply that it is the understanding of the past, or a different concept of time, is not enough. But a visitor to this part of the world will soon discover that the Eastern Europeans live in another time zone. They live in the twentieth century, but at the same time they inhabit a past full of myths and fairy tales, of blood and national belonging. Seller Inventory # AAS9780140277722

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