A prescient memoir about one woman’s emotional triumph over war and religious persecution.


Nana's Shoes


Debut author Softic shares her family’s moving ordeal in war-torn Bosnia-Herzegovina in a meditation on the sustaining power of faith.

The author’s father died in 1956, when she was 6 years old, and her impoverished mother struggled to retain the family’s farm in northern Bosnia-Herzegovina, her children’s only inheritance. The sole child to progress in school beyond the eighth grade, she achieved a bachelor’s degree in psychology and pedagogy. She happily married a doctor, Husein, settled on the inherited farm, and eventually had two children. But in the early 1990s, the country succumbed to rising ethnic tensions and dissolved into the Yugoslav Wars. The family was Bosnian Muslim, a minority that many of their fellow citizens, including Roman Catholic Croats and Orthodox Christian Serbs, wanted out of the area. Her daughter, Aida, left to study in the United States and Husein immigrated to Austria to escape the conflict, but the rest of the family stayed because the author’s infirm mother-in-law, Nana, couldn’t travel. As a result, the author was on her own with Nana and her own teenage son, Samir. Their vulnerability opened them up to increasingly violent attacks and predation as the war escalated. Overall, though, this is more a memoir of faith than a history of the war. For example, Softic tells of how her strength to survive came from her faith in Islam: “I am confident in His protection and in His mercy, so I do not have to cry.” That said, the narrative style lacks polish and readers will find it difficult to clearly determine the chronology of the story. Readers with only a basic knowledge of the conflict will be particularly challenged to follow the plot. These minor deficits aside, however, it remains a strong personal story about an underrepresented conflict for informed readers.

A prescient memoir about one woman’s emotional triumph over war and religious persecution.

Pub Date: May 24, 2015

ISBN: 978-0-9962949-1-1

Page Count: 248

Publisher: CreateSpace

Review Posted Online: July 25, 2016

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Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis...



Privately published by Strunk of Cornell in 1918 and revised by his student E. B. White in 1959, that "little book" is back again with more White updatings.

Stricter than, say, Bergen Evans or W3 ("disinterested" means impartial — period), Strunk is in the last analysis (whoops — "A bankrupt expression") a unique guide (which means "without like or equal").

Pub Date: May 15, 1972

ISBN: 0205632645

Page Count: 105

Publisher: Macmillan

Review Posted Online: Oct. 28, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 1972

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Noted jazz and pop record producer Thiele offers a chatty autobiography. Aided by record-business colleague Golden, Thiele traces his career from his start as a ``pubescent, novice jazz record producer'' in the 1940s through the '50s, when he headed Coral, Dot, and Roulette Records, and the '60s, when he worked for ABC and ran the famous Impulse! jazz label. At Coral, Thiele championed the work of ``hillbilly'' singer Buddy Holly, although the only sessions he produced with Holly were marred by saccharine strings. The producer specialized in more mainstream popsters like the irrepressibly perky Teresa Brewer (who later became his fourth wife) and the bubble-machine muzak-meister Lawrence Welk. At Dot, Thiele was instrumental in recording Jack Kerouac's famous beat- generation ramblings to jazz accompaniment (recordings that Dot's president found ``pornographic''), while also overseeing a steady stream of pop hits. He then moved to the Mafia-controlled Roulette label, where he observed the ``silk-suited, pinky-ringed'' entourage who frequented the label's offices. Incredibly, however, Thiele remembers the famously hard-nosed Morris Levy, who ran the label and was eventually convicted of extortion, as ``one of the kindest, most warm-hearted, and classiest music men I have ever known.'' At ABC/Impulse!, Thiele oversaw the classic recordings of John Coltrane, although he is the first to admit that Coltrane essentially produced his own sessions. Like many producers of the day, Thiele participated in the ownership of publishing rights to some of the songs he recorded; he makes no apology for this practice, which he calls ``entirely appropriate and without any ethical conflicts.'' A pleasant, if not exactly riveting, memoir that will be of most interest to those with a thirst for cocktail-hour stories of the record biz. (25 halftones, not seen)

Pub Date: May 1, 1995

ISBN: 0-19-508629-4

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Oxford Univ.

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 1995

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