Anyone else want to curse my wife and call me a terrorist? You’ll have to get in line.
I wrote a book about Macedonia and Macedonia responded. Since I released the translated cover as a promotion, my wife has been cursed, I’ve been called a terrorist, told that I’m under the control of Albanian mafioso in Chicago, and that I should be sued by the state of North Macedonia. Lovely. Disturbing. Comical. Completely expected. Yes, Macedonia, I expected this reaction. Why, you ask? How could some dummy American who wrote some obscure book about Macedonia possibly know what to expect? Because I know you, Macedonia. All it took was the cover of a book, not the words mind you, not the in-depth analysis and commentary on ethnic conflict and national identity in the book, just the cover. Anyone surprised that people reacted to the book based on the cover? I was called a liar, the book nothing but lies. Based on the cover. Not the words. The cover. Are you really that surprised? If you are surprised, then you haven’t been to Macedonia.
You might be asking if I’m angry. “Your wife has been cursed! How can you not be angry?!?!” Well, my reader friend, I intended to stir the pot. I wanted to kick the hornets nest. The cover of my book was meant to make people crazy. It was intended to spark an intense emotional response. It was meant to drag the waters, trolling for responses. Mission accomplished. But you know what else it was meant to do? Force us all to look at each other and address the ideas buried underneath the cover:
- The Albanian Experience
- Macedonian Identity
- The darkness we all have inside us that push neighbors to murder neighbors.
- Friends to kill friends over words and symbols.
- The role of God in our blessings and sins.
The book elaborates on these elements by diving deep into the shared (yes, shared) history of the Albanians, Macedonians, Greeks, Bulgarians, and Serbs that have all lived in Macedonia.
I wrote a book about you Macedonia. Now it’s time to talk about it. Curse at me if you want. Accuse me of terrible things. Threaten me. That’s fine. Trust me, I don’t care about that. In the end we are talking and you are taking a good look in the mirror, because things are not ok there, life in Macedonia is brutal and the least we can do is be honest with each other.
See you soon!
Dr. Lucas Dines
Adopted Son of Tetovo