Historical fiction set in 1902 in Macedonia about a young Albanian man caught in the middle of a Great Power conspiracy, Balkan revolutionaries, and a wave of ethnic cleansing.
Balkan Story Telling : Travel For A Loop Podcast
Listen to me tell stories about haunted tunnels, drunk police chiefs, and driving next to a black hole.
Dead Rabbits Books Guest Blog Post
Which is worse, freezing to death or having a rocket kill you? I remember this question running through my mind in December of 2008 as I laid down in a shabby Palestinian hostel just outside the Old City of Jerusalem. I listened to Al-Jazeera’s heartbreaking news about the invasion of Gaza blare through my wobbly door, frosty breath drifting to the ceiling, and all I could think about was that point when freezing to death becomes a more pressing concern than dying from incoming missiles…
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Robert Niebuhr, Honors Faculty Fellow,
Arizona State University
Robert Niebuhr is a faculty fellow at Barrett; his scholarship has focused on the political and military history of former Yugoslavia, aspects of modern German history, and twentieth-century Bolivian history.
When the American adventurer and writer Arthur D. Howden Smith wrote about the Balkans in 1908 he argued that the region was “a shadow-land of mystery.” Rebecca West more famously penned her travel story across Yugoslavia in the late 1930s to juxtapose past and present as a way of informing and entertaining readers. Even earlier in the 1820s, Lord Byron captured the imagination of England during the Greek struggle for independence with his romantic tales of freedom fighters full of ancient hatreds. Enter Lucas Dines in the twenty-first century. Dines has written a novel that takes advantage of this rich tradition of mixing history with story-telling yet dares the reader to reevaluate traditions. Early character development reinforces the notion that the Balkans is a hopeless powder keg, especially under the influence of international intrigue. Inspired by history, the adventures of Jon Ahmeti take a refreshing turn and show the reader the true spirit of the Balkans—a land filled with genuinely kind people who take pride in community, family, and faith. Rather than blindly reinforce stereotypes Dines encourages the reader to ask big questions and reflect on how Macedonians, Albanians, Greeks, Turks, Serbs, Bulgarians, and Jews matter for us today.