Like Eating a Stone: Surviving the Past in Bosnia

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9781934633144: Like Eating a Stone: Surviving the Past in Bosnia

A portrait of human devastation in the wake of the Bosnian Wars, told through the stories of survivors searching for family members and their remains.

During four years of war in Bosnia, over 100,000 people lost their lives. But it was months, even years, before the mass graves started to yield up their dead and the process of identification, burial, and mourning could begin.

Here we travel through the ravaged postwar landscape in the company of a few survivors (mostly women) as they visit the scenes of their loss: a hall where victims' clothing is displayed; an underground cave littered with pale jumbles of bones; a camp for homeless refugees; a city now abandoned to the ghosts of painful memories; a funeral service where a family can finally say goodbye. These encounters are snapshots and memorials, a feat of powerful reportage told from the viewpoint of people who have lost nearly everything. With the sensibility of Philip Gourevitch or Ryszard Kapuscinski, Tochman captures a painful moment in history, as an entire community comes to terms with its raw and recent past.

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About the Author:

Born in 1969 in Kraków, Poland, Wojciech Tochman is an award-winning reporter and writer. With Like Eating a Stone, Tochman became a finalist for the Nike Polish Literary Prize and for the Prix Témoin du Monde, awarded by Radio France International. He lives in Warsaw.

Review:

“Without judgment or commentary, the book lets the voices of the survivors relate this harrowing search. The result is a powerful portrayal of a country still suffering from the effects of war.” (Financial Times)

“[Tochman's] style is all the more powerful for its restraint: outrage speaks terribly for itself, needs no hype, no color.” (Sunday Times [UK])

“[Tochman] relies on suggestive details on suggestive details, pungent quotes and simple, understated prose that is mannered at times but powerful in its own way.” (Matthew Price - The New York Times Book Review)

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Tochman, Wojciech
Published by Atlas 2008-09-17 (2008)
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