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A young survivor of the Bosnian War returns to his homeland to confront the people who betrayed his family
At age eleven, Kenan Trebincevic was a happy, karate-loving kid living with his family in the quiet Eastern European town of Brcko. Then, in the spring of 1992, war broke out and his friends, neighbors and teammates all turned on him. Pero - Kenan's beloved karate coach - showed up at his door with an AK-47 - screaming: "You have one hour to leave or be killed!" Kenan’s only crime: he was Muslim. This poignant, searing memoir chronicles Kenan’s miraculous escape from the brutal ethnic cleansing campaign that swept the former Yugoslavia. After two decades in the United States, Kenan honors his father’s wish to visit their homeland, making a list of what he wants to do there. Kenan decides to confront the former next door neighbor who stole from his mother, see the concentration camp where his Dad and brother were imprisoned and stand on the grave of his first betrayer to make sure he’s really dead. Back in the land of his birth, Kenan finds something more powerfuland shockingthan revenge.
Kenan Trebincevic immigrated to America in 1993 and became a citizen in 2001. His writing has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and Op-Ed page, the Wall Street Journal,Salon, and The Best American Travel Writing 2012 and on American Public Radio and NPR.
Susan Shapiro teaches journalism at New York University and the New School. Her work has appeared in the New York Times, the WashingtonPost, Los Angeles Times, and the Nation. She is the author of eight books, including memoir Five Men Who Broke My Heart, which is currently being made into a movie.