A moving and compelling true story about two sisters fighting for survival in Sarajevo during the Bosnian war.
May, 1992. Hana is twelve years old when she is put on one of the last UN evacuation buses fleeing the besieged city of Sarajevo. Her twenty-one-year-old sister, Atka, staying behind to look after their five younger siblings, is there to say goodbye. Thinking that they will be apart for only a few weeks, they make a promise to each other to be brave.
But as the Bosnian war escalates and months go by without contact, their promise to each other becomes deeply significant. Hana is forced to cope as a refugee in Croatia, far away from home and family, while Atka battles for survival in a city where snipers, mortar attacks and desperate food shortages are a part of everyday life. Their mother, working for a humanitarian aid organisation, is unable to reach them and their father retreats inside himself, shocked at what is happening to his city. In Sarajevo, death lurks in every corner and shakes the foundation of their existence. One day their beloved uncle is killed while queuing up for bread in the market square, in a massacre similar to the one three months earlier which prompted a cellist to make a lone musical protest in the deserted streets. But when Atka finds work as a translator in an old, smoky radio station, and then with a photojournalist from New Zealand, life takes an unexpected turn, and the remarkable events that follow change her life, and those of her family, forever.
Set in the middle of the bloodiest European conflict since the Second World War, Goodbye Sarajevo is a moving and compelling true story of courage, hope and extraordinary human kindness.
About The Author
Atka Reid was born in Sarajevo in 1970. At the outbreak of the Bosnian war, she was a political science student. During the war, she worked as a reporter for a local radio station and as an interpreter for the foreign press. Upon her arrival in New Zealand she worked as a journalist in Christchurch. She later gained a Diploma in graphic design and worked as a graphic designer. She and Andrew, the New Zealand photojournalist she met in Sarajevo, live in Auckland with their two sons.
Hana Schofield was born in Sarajevo in 1979. She spent two years living as a refugee in Croatia during the siege of Sarajevo. In 1995 she arrived in New Zealand with her family, speaking no English. In 2002 she graduated from the University of Canterbury with first class honours in Law and a bachelor's degree in Russian. Since then she has worked as a lawyer for a leading New Zealand law firm, and more recently for a City law firm in London. Hana is also a qualified performance consultant. She is married
This is an extraordinary book by two sisters who were separated by war. When Hana was 12 she was put on a UN evacuation bus fleeing Sarajevo under seige. Her sister Atka remained behind in a city in flames.
We already have an insight into the Bosnian conflict from the very fine novel (based on a true event), The Cellist of Sarajevo. This powerful and evocative memoir will further seer it into our consciousness.
The sisters will be in Australia this month for the Sydney Writers Festival.
Click here to read Hana and Atka's answers to our Ten Terrifying Questions
'A beautiful story that turns from sorrow to happiness, redemption, restoration. Goodbye Sarajevo shows that sometimes out of dire circumstances, new lives, new beginnings are possible' Janine di Giovanni
Number Of Pages: 352
Published: 1st May 2011
Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Dimensions (cm): 21.4 x 13.4 x 2.6
Weight (kg): 0.378