Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo

Zlata's Diary: A Child's Life in Sarajevo
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Zlata Filipovic was given a diary shortly before her 11th birthday and began to write in it regularly. The preoccupations of an ordinary, if unusually intelligent and articulate little girl, include whether or not to join the Madonna fan club, the fate of the super-models, her piano lessons, her tennis lessons, her friends and her new skis. But the distant murmur of war draws closer. Her father starts to wear military uniform and her friends begin to leave the city. One day school is closed, and the next the bombardments begin. The pathos and power of this diary come from watching the destruction of a childhood which could be that of anybody's child. Zlata writes about her fears, her desires, her pet cat, her mother's fear of a mouse in the wainscotting, her mother dodging the bullets to cross the bridge to work, and her father's frostbite and hernia from dragging water to them since there is no more water on tap. To Zlata the availability of electricity means that perhaps she can watch MTV - to that extent she remains a very ordinary little girl. But her circle of friends is increasingly replaced by international journalists who come to hear of this little girl's courage and resilience so that she becomes a frequent stop in their search for news stories. But the reality is that, as they fly off with the latest story of Zlata, she remains behind, writing her deepest feelings to "Mimmy", her diary and last remaining friend.

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