Authors Atka Reid and Hana Schofield were regular customers of Christchurch City Libraries for many years, and went on to write Goodbye Sarajevo, a remarkable tale of their family’s survival. I asked for the duo’s thoughts on libraries:
Hana said libraries were ‘healthy, inspirational places’ that were a way of connecting with the world. Atka said they are part of what makes you a human being; books, thinking – ‘not just collecting water and surviving’ – and that they create a love for learning. [1 min 23 sec, 1.2Mb .mp3]:
Sisters Atka Reid and Hana Schofield and their family were sponsored by a Christchurch family to move to New Zealand from war-torn Bosnia 18 years ago. Their story, Goodbye Sarajevo, has just hit number one in the international besteller lists in New Zealand, beating out royalty in the process.
Christchurch City Libraries played a vital part in the book’s creation, becoming a virtual office for the pair as they put the book together.
In this nine-minute interview, Atka Reid and Hana Schofield talk about their book, family, perseverance, and the similarities between war and post-earthquake life. Atka is speaking first [9 min 34 sec, 9Mb .mp3]:
Sisters Atka and Hana and their family were sponsored by a Christchurch family to move to Christchurch from war-torn Bosnia 18 years ago. They’ve written a book about their story, Goodbye Sarajevo, which will be published in early May by Bloomsbury UK. They sent these Words for Christchurch:
Christchurch has been home to our family.
When we first moved there from Bosnia it was the generosity and kindness of several Christchurch families that helped us through the tough times. We will always be grateful for that and Christchurch has a special place in our hearts.
We wrote Goodbye Sarajevo at the Christchurch Central Library. The book launch was scheduled to be in Christchurch next month, at Scorpio book shop, but due to the earthquake that’s been moved to Auckland. We do hope that once Scorpio is up and running again we will be able to celebrate the occasion with our Christchurch family and friends.
Our thoughts are with the people of Christchurch where most of our family still live. Our hearts go out to many people who have lost their loved ones, their homes and livelihoods and we hope that our story can give them a glimpse of hope and some comfort in these times of hardship. To quote one of the reviews:
Goodbye Sarajevo is a beautiful story that turns from sorrow to happiness, redemption, restoration. Goodbye Sarajevo shows that sometimes out of dire circumstances, new lives, new beginnings are possible.