This work explores the divisions that still exist in contemporary Europe. It focuses on Eastern Europe and the attitudes and cultural identity of Eastern Europeans, a nation of people still living in the past. Budapest, Tirane, Warsaw and Zagreb are featured.
Europe is still a divided continent. In the place of a fallen Berlin wall, there is a chasm between the East and the West. Are these differences a communist legacy, or do they run even deeper What divides us today To say simply that it is the understanding of the past, or a different concept of time, is not enough. But a visitor to this part of the world will soon discover that we, the Eastern Europeans, live in another time zone. We live in the twentieth century, but at the same time we inhabit a past full of myths and fairy tales, of blood and national belonging, and the fact that most people are lying and cheating or that they have the habit of blaming others for every failure...'
An intimate tour of life on the streets of Budapest, Tirana, Warsaw and Zagreb, as those cities continue to acclimatise to the post-Communist thaw, Caf Europa does not provide easy solutions or furnish political pallatives. Rather as a Croatian with a viewpoint of ever-widening relevance, the value of Slavenka Drakulic's wry and humane observations lie in the emotional force of their honesty and the clarity of their insight.....
Slavenka Drakulic is a writer of great sensitivity, intelligence and grace. - ALICE WALKER
A formidable writer. - SUNDAY TIMES
Her writing has the spare poetry of Marguerite Duras. - GUARDIAN
Slavenka Drakulic is a journalist and writer whose voice belongs to the world. - GLORIA STEINEM