How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed

( 3 )


Hailed by feminists as one of the most important contributions to women's studies in the last decade, this gripping, beautifully written account describes the daily struggles of women under the Marxist regime in the former republic of Yugoslavia.

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Hailed by feminists as one of the most important contributions to women's studies in the last decade, this gripping, beautifully written account describes the daily struggles of women under the Marxist regime in the former republic of Yugoslavia.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

New York Times Book Review
A thoughtful, beautifully written collection of essays...blending provocative analysis with the texture of everyday life.
Library Journal
Drakulic's fine collection of essays draws strength from her keen powers of observation and sensitivity to her readers' interests. Her achievement is to depict the starkly common identity of everyday life in socialist Eastern Europe before its unlamented loss becomes irretrievable. It is a world in which party authority can create the ``sudden invisibility'' for an offending journalist, where public buildings share a ``shabbiness and color of sepia,'' and one that makes the post office an impenetrable ``institution of power.'' The essays are also about people, about the obsessive `` communist eye '' (italics original) disturbed by the injustice of New York's homeless yet neurotically envious of those wearing fur coats at home. The tragic irony lies in the book's title. Hoarding material objects enabled people ``to survive communism,'' but hoarding wartime memories and the inability to ``let the dead be dead'' may destroy the author's native Yugoslavia. Recommended for all public and academic libraries.-- Zachary T. Irwin, Pennsylvania State Univ.-Erie
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060975401
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/28/1993
  • Series: Harper Perennial
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Sales rank: 404,933
  • Product dimensions: 5.31 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Slavenka Drakulic's work has appeared in The Nation, The New Republic, the  New York Times, Time, and The New York Review of Books among many other publications and is widely translated throughout the world. Her books include the novel Holograms of Fear and her most recent collection of essays, The Balkan Express. She lives in Zagreb.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 26, 2012

    good book

    Very good book.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 27, 2004

    Pre-1989 Life in Jugoslavia

    Basically, this book forms a sort of trilogy (with 'Balkan Express' and 'Cafe Europa') of life before, during, and after the demise of Jugoslavia. All three books are fascinating and enjoyable to read. As proof of her writing skills, the author possesses an ability to express the positive and the distasteful in the subjects she covers. Such ideas as why a refugee needs high-heeled shoes or a discussion of how easily a consummate politician like Tudjman escapes a confrontation are fascinating writing, and the author covers the subject, in depth, in very short, articulate essays. Anyone intersted in Jugoslavia or the formerly-communist world should read all three books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 11, 2002

    Catchy, eh?

    The majesty of this collection of Drakulic's essays lies in the author's ability to turn ordinary events into philosophical forums on government, society, and feminism. Many western authors have attempted to narrate the history of East Europeans under communism, and of those scholars many have succeeded. Yet personal experience underlies narratives with a stronger fiber; and Drakulic's birth and life in Croatia make her an eyewitness to circumstances of which many Westerners have no conception. Drakulic does not forget to include the smaller, rarely mentioned details of female life in the former Yugoslavia -- such as the type of stockings worn, the process of making soup, gossip around the kitchen table. She humanizes Eastern Europe, and in doing so documents a country that begins to break apart a year after the publishing date. Yet this is not 'dead' history -- former communist countries still struggle with the same issues they did a decade ago. This is so much more than a scholarly work -- it is lively, captivating, and thoroughly ravishing. I couldn't put it down.

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