Black Butterflies: SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE 2023

£8.495
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Black Butterflies: SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE 2023

Black Butterflies: SHORTLISTED FOR THE WOMEN'S PRIZE 2023

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Beautifully written and hauntingly evocative, Black Butterflies distils into a single consciousness a nation’s violent trauma and an artist’s sense of hope.

It's a great book to show how we take things for granted in our consumerist society in which we confuse our real with the false ones. Each night, nationalist gangs erect barricades, splitting the diverse city into ethnic enclaves; each morning, the weary residents – whether Bosniak, Croat or Serb – push the makeshift barriers aside. Hauntingly beautiful Priscilla weaves human helplessness and hopelessness, love and loss together - real emotions without the dramatic. Among other subjects, Zora loves to paint bridges and I thought often about those bridges as a metaphor for human connection and in terms of physical escape or entrapment.Predvidljiva je dosta: vrlo lako možeš da proceniš ko će preživeti a ko neće (mada me je ipak malo žacnulo kad sam došla do pogibije) i kraj je zbrzan, cap, cap, cap, tako da ostajemo bez razrešenja za sve ostale ljude iz zgrade (koja, naravno, funkcioniše kao mala Jugoslavija, samo svi ostaju složni do kraja romana), što je bzvz jer se poprilično potrudila da izgradi sve junake i junakinje.

It was especially poignant to be reading this during the war in Ukraine and think about the sorts of daily dangers and deprivation that people face in conflict zones. Sarajevo has always been multicultural—its people living and mixing harmoniously, most families mixed—most celebrating the festivals of all cultures. I’m recommending Black Butterflies for fans of beautifully written historical fiction, for readers who might be familiar with Sarajevo, for readers who love stories about ordinary people in the most difficult circumstances, and for those who appreciate a memoir-like narrative. That lends a lot of validity to what would otherwise have seemed as fictional events improbable in real life. When violence finally spills over, Zora, an artist and teacher, sends her husband and elderly mother to safety with her daughter in England.Black Butterflies by Priscilla Morris is a lyrical, devastating and timely love letter to war-torn Sarajevo. In the spring of 1992, fifty-five year old Zora can’t imagine that the Siege of Sarajevo will last long.

Dark yet starkly beautiful, Black Butterflies is at once a testament to the victims of the Siege of Sarajevo, to the power of art and to Morris’s skills as a storyteller. Reluctant to believe that hostilities will last more than a handful of weeks, she stays behind while the city falls under siege. It’s clear and easy to read, but she also captures some real moments of beauty and gut-wrenching brutality. While things are difficult and there are small obstacles she must face, Zora begins to enjoy the solitude and the chance it gives her to engage in her painting. Black Butterflies is a compelling piece of historical fiction, a very readable account of civilian life during the 1992 siege of Sarajevo.Amongst the horror and deprivation, there are snatched moments of happiness: a shared meal assembled from scraps of food, the telling of stories around a makeshift fire, a ‘bring your own art’ exhibition, the warmth of another body next to yours. I think this might be the first work of fiction that I have read about the Bosnian War; it won't be the last.

It is hard to believe that this is the author’s debut novel and I look forward to reading more from this author in the future. With her we too watch as a rich, bustling, lovely city is plunged into war—as a relatively normal life (there is unrest already when the story opens) deteriorates into a struggle for day-to-day survival—a battle not only against the war and its weapons, but also against its impacts, whether lack of basic necessities or the elements or the constant insecurity and uncertainty. A beautifully written account of the siege of Sarajevo in the nineties that could easily apply to many corners of the world where people of different “tribes” live peacefully together but then are thrown into a conflict that pits neighbours and families against each other. Black Butterflies tells the story of Zora, a woman who decides to remain behind in her war torn home of Sarajevo, while her husband and mother leave to stay in England with Zora's daughter.I get that in the horrors of war some threads will never be tied up fully, but it was a bit too open-ended for my taste. Each night, nationalist gangs erect barricades, splitting the diverse city into ethnic enclaves; each morning, the residents – whether Muslim, Croat or Serb – push the makeshift barriers aside. There was a lot of graphic media content and there are still images which crop up in my mind now and then.



  • Fruugo ID: 258392218-563234582
  • EAN: 764486781913
  • Sold by: Fruugo

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