Bluebird: A Memoir | Granta

  • Published: 04/02/2010
  • ISBN: 9781847081193
  • 129x20mm
  • 224 pages

Bluebird: A Memoir

Vesna Maric

Vesna Maric left Bosnia the beginning of the war, at the age of sixteen, on a convoy of coaches carrying refugees to Penrith in the north of England. Bluebird is Vesna’s funny, vivid and immensely readable memoir of the experience, from the beginning of the war through to her eventual return to Bosnia years later. Unlike many books on Bosnia, and refugees in general, Bluebird is never self-pitying, never grave. It’s refreshing to read an account of these experiences filtered through the eyes of a teenager with attitude – written with brilliant comic timing and a great storytelling gift.

Her confident, beguiling voice, her refusal to be pitied or patronised, reminds us that young people caught up in war have their own perspectives, their own stories to tell. I'm sure it is a voice we will hear more of in the future


Maric is an exquisite, careful writer. Her sparse memoir, made up of a series of illuminating short stories, skewers Britain through a newcomer's eyes ... With a linguistic talent remarkable for someone who began regularly speaking English only at the age of 16, Maric conveys the unsettling, often magical experience of losing her roots

Sunday Times Culture

Told with humour and defiance, this is the inspiring tale of a brave young woman

Belfast Telegraph

The Author

Vesna Maric was born in Mostar, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1976. she left Bosnia-Herzegovina at sixteen as part of a convoy of refugees. She went on to work for the BBC World Service and now writes Lonely Planet travel guides, translates literary fiction and non-fiction from Croatian into English, and writes a variety of journalism for publications including the Guardian. Vesna has collaborated with various artists, including Jane and Louise Wilson, and art projects at the Tate Modern and the London Southbank. Her memoir, Bluebird, was published by Granta in 2009, and was longlisted for The Orwell Prize. Bluebird has been translated into French, Dutch, Spanish, Marathi and Croatian. Her first novel will be published in 2021. Image © Nana Varveropoulou

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‘Yugoslavia’s ending, in bloodshed, cannot be its only legacy, the only lesson we take away from its existence.’

Essays & Memoir | Granta Books

War and Virus

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‘Wars, national disasters and pandemics do not cause social disintegration – they reveal it, and deepen it.’

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