Today is the first day of the first Non-Genre Fiction Swap. (If you don't know what a swap is, check out the SWAP FAQ)
Since I've already been revealed, I have no qualms about posting my reveal here:
My Name is Bosnia by Madeleine Gagnon.
I reviewed the book for Library Journal and thought it was wonderful.
"Leaving is dying a little, dying to oneself. And it is living fully as that other person one has so often dreamed of becoming. While one has to leave for elsewhere in order to achieve this, it is at home that the dream is first imagined" (19).
My Name is Bosnia is the story of one girl's experience of war and exile told with a poet's gift for language and observation.
When war breaks out in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sabaheta, a non-practicing Muslim who renames herself "Bosnia" when she first begins to imagine the possibility of leaving her homeland, is a university student. Unlike many of her loved ones, Bosnia survives the conflict, first in the forest with her father and the Bosnian guerrillas and then in Sarajevo where she and her friends are forced to burn their books for fuel.
My Name is Bosnia is written with an understanding unimaginable in a person who has not lived through war. Clearly informed by Gagnon's work on Women in a World at War (Talonbooks, 2003), the novel is beautifully-wrought treatise on war, suffering, recovery, and the world today.
Author Nancy Huston has described Madeleine Gagnon as "someone in whom the boundary between inner and outer life is porous, her words are poetry and her ear for the words of others is poetry too. Everything she takes in from the world is filtered, processed, transformed by the insistent rhythms of the songs within her" (publisher's website).