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Bluebird: A Memoir Paperback – 4 Feb 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Granta Books; 1st Edition edition (4 Feb. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1847081193
  • ISBN-13: 978-1847081193
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 1.8 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 391,399 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

'Her confident, beguiling voice, her refusal to be pitied or patronised, reminds us that young people caught up in war have their own perspectives, their own stories to tell. I'm sure it is a voice we will hear more of in the future' Guardian "Maric is an exquisite, careful writer. Her sparse memoir, made up of a series of illuminating short stories, skewers Britain through a newcomer's eyes - With a linguistic talent remarkable for someone who began regularly speaking English only at the age of 16, Maric conveys the unsettling, often magical experience of losing her roots' Sunday Times Culture 'Told with humour and defiance, this is the inspiring tale of a brave young woman' Belfast Telegraph 'A powerful story' Independent on Sunday 'A wonderful, bittersweet memoir - A gifted, original writer - we are lucky to have her' Observer

Review

`Her confident, beguiling voice .. is a voice we will hear more of in the future' - Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Ms. B. Griffiths on 26 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful memoir with a light touch that plays with the reader but manages also to underline its darker themes of war and loss, together with the writer's experience as a young refugee in Britain - a timely reminder to all of us of how our lives can be turned upside down in an instant. Without any preaching or whining, Maric turns a lens on our attitudes to refugees and the 'do-gooders' who surround them. Recommended.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Michael Watson TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 Feb. 2009
Format: Paperback
I seem to have been given quite a few books lately which I normally wouldn't have bought for myself. Bluebird is one of them and my reluctance to read it was tempered by the fact that this Bosnian refugee spent much of her time in the UK in places close to my home.

The fact that she writes so well (I confess to looking for a translator's name on the book) must be testament to her own determination to learn but also to something good coming out of the friendship of local people. Her anecdotes are so vivid and recount our own domestic scenarios but from a refugee's perception - and it's not always a pretty sight. The fact that her story begins with the death and destruction in her own country, indeed in her home town leads one to view her commentary of the UK in a much more forceful light.

I don't know if Vesna Maric has the intention to write any further books; my copy was bagged by a friend before I wrote this review so I couldn't check. I hope she does. Her illumination of life is not only revealing but especially lively in its truest sense that I shall keep a watch out for her.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I recently came across this book and read it in a gulp; its humor, insight and sharp observation made me want to get on Amazon and share my enthusiasm. Although I was never a refugee, I was also an immigrant to the UK and recognized many of the dissonances and homesick moments of shock she recounts, as well as the pleasure of connecting, suddenly, to strange people in strange places. Maric has not only been through a remarkable experience, she has the voice to bring them to life for others, and while her description of watching the rug being pulled up so violently behind her is moving and laced with anger at the destruction of her community and the loss of her home, this is also a book full of light. Like Suite Francaise, you read it and think: yes, if it happened here tomorrow, that's just what it would be like.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Mark Twain on 14 Nov. 2011
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This is a great read, sharply told and addressed directly to the reader without being a lecture, just stuff you might (I would say should) be interested in about growing up. I contest Gunnar of Sweden's criticisms, there's plenty about culture clash in here, but there's also a lot about how the author doesn't want to be 'the opposite of the West' and identifies with English ways. That actually makes it a lot more subtle than many books on the topic.
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1 of 5 people found the following review helpful By GunillaB on 13 Jan. 2010
Format: Paperback
The book is advertised as being about culture clashes between Bosnia and the U.K, as experienced by a young fugitive from the Balkan wars of the 1990's. If there are any, they are very, very mild. The unpractical English way of having hot and cold water from separate faucets hardly qualifies. No, the problems Maric have seems the general sort of problems a 16-year old girl would have anywhere, when forced to fend for herself. The book is a collection of short episodes, with huge gaps in the story. I read the book to the end, but mostly it was a disappointment.
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