Sanja Kulenovic and her new husband were celebrating their honeymoon in Pasadena, California, in 1992 when they turned on CNN to discover their hometown, Sarajevo, being devastated by bombing. As the nation of Yugoslavia collapsed, Sanja and her husband became people without a country, but their primary concern was their family and loved ones back home. How were they doing? What was happening to them as the city was sieged? Would they survive?
Sanja recounts her and her husband’s efforts to build a new life as refugees in Southern California, finding joy in securing a pizza-delivery job and receiving letters or brief phone calls from Sarajevo. Those letters—often written in darkness as bombs fell and gunfire rang out—vividly capture the suffering Sanja’s family and other Sarajevans endured through almost four years of daily bombardments, the perpetual threat of sniper fire, and three frozen, foodless winters.
The Siege of Sarajevo illustrates the human toll of war and the highly personal consequences of what often seem like faraway conflicts. The book is also a tribute to the resilience of the human spirit, reminding readers that they—like Sanja and her family—are stronger than they ever imagined.