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Book Image Not Available
Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Historical
  • Language:English
  • Pages:369

Not Like My Mother

by Azra Alagic

Book Image Not Available
Overview
Not Like My Mother is a powerful story that tracks the spirit, the love and the pain of three generations of women and their families over two continents, as well as examining the divide between three religions that has torn a country and its people apart. It's a meditation on the Balkans, its people, its politics and its colliding differences.
Description
In Yasna's family, violence is an heirloom passed down from generation to generation along with the richness of tradition, recipes, love and land. After the German invasion of World War II, supported by Serbian Chetniks, has massacred Bosniaks in the Balkans, leaving damaged homes, bodies and hearts in its wake, Samira’s marriage is arranged for her, and she leaves her childhood home with her new husband, Azis. Samira struggles to retain her identity and dignity in her marriage with Azis, a bitterly angry man with dark secrets that have consequences for everyone around him. When Samira realises her son, Muhammed, will always be the target of Azis’s anger and aggression, she makes the painful decision to evict him from the house to save his life. Muhammed joins Anika and her family, who are fleeing the oppression of Tito’s Communist Jugoslavia across the Austrian border. The pair immigrates to Australia where they face a new oppression in the guise of racism. But Anika faces an even greater danger in simply trying to survive her husband’s beatings and emotional torment. Depressed and desperately needing help, Anika attempts to take her own life on several occasions, trapping her daughter, Yasna, into the premature responsibilities of adulthood. Unable to shake the emotional and psychological shadow of its past, the family struggles to find new ways to love and respect each other’s differences, but religious conflicts and another Balkan war have devastating consequences on their fragile domestic peace. Not Like My Mother is a poignant story about the patterns of violence and lost identity passed down through generations. Tracking the pain and anguish of three women and their families over two continents, as well as the divide between three religions that have torn apart a country and its people. The novel exposes and explores the links between cultural and personal histories of conflict.
About the author
Azra Alagic’s short stories have been published in Borderlands, Miel Magazine and UQ Vanguard. She co-edited Passion, Prose and Poetry, and has received two RADF grants for her writing. Azra worked as a print and broadcast journalist for over ten years in NSW and QLD. She has lectured in Communications, Journalism, and Creative Writing at Griffith University and Open Learning Universities Australia. She was lured away from teaching by the promise of copious amounts of cash in the Public Relations world to indulge her addiction to clothes and shoes. She now works as a Communication and Stakeholder Management Consultant and is happily adding to her shoe collection on a weekly basis while being a mum to her three children and moodle. Not Like My Mother is her first novel, its sequel The Comfort Women is in progress.
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