Fact or Fiction
This weekend I had a double dose of Balkans history. I saw Angelina Jolie’s film, In the Land of Blood and Honey. It’s a complicated story centered around a Bosnian Serb man and a Bosnian Muslim woman during the war in the 90’s. It was difficult to watch in parts, and I was a little skeptical about the ending, but overall a good film.
This weekend I also started Tea Obreht’s book, The Tiger’s Wife, which is set in an unnamed Balkan country. It’s a region I know relatively little about. I was in high school during the Bosnian War. And while I was vaguely aware it was going on, like most high-schoolers in America, I wasn’t really paying attention. I remember hearing the word Kosovo for the first time in a model-UN program one summer and I thought it was a fictitious place made up for our scenario. Only later did I learn that Kosovo is very real.
If I had the time or patience I would pick up a non-fiction book about the Balkans and educate myself. But let’s be honest, sometimes a long day of work at State feels like several hours of non-fiction. When I get home I’m ready for something different. So if I do have time (and my favorite TV shows aren’t on) I’ll usually reach for a novel.