A “funny and tragic and beautiful in all the right places” (Jenny Lawson, #1 New York Times bestseller author of Furiously Happy) memoir about the immigrant experience and life as a perpetual fish-out-of-water, from the acclaimed Serbian-Australian storyteller.
Sofija Stefanovic makes the first of many awkward entrances in 1982, when she is born in socialist Yugoslavia. The circumstances of her birth (a blackout, gasoline shortages, bickering parents) don’t exactly get her off to a running start. While around her, ethnic tensions are stoked by totalitarian leaders with violent agendas, Stefanovic’s early life is filled with Yugo rock, inadvisable crushes, and the quirky ups and downs of life in a socialist state.
As the political situation grows more dire, the Stefanovics travel back and forth between faraway, peaceful Australia, where they can’t seem to fit in, and their turbulent homeland, which they can’t seem to shake. Meanwhile, Yugoslavia collapses into the bloodiest European conflict in recent history.
Featuring warlords and beauty queens, tiger cubs and Baby-Sitters Clubs, Sofija Stefanovic’s memoir is a window to a complicated culture that she both cherishes and resents. Revealing war and immigration from the crucial viewpoint of women and children, Stefanovic chronicles her own coming-of-age, both as a woman and as an artist. Refreshingly candid, poignant, and illuminating, “Stefanovic’s story is as unique and wacky as it is important” (Esquire).
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“A poignant, charming, and gorgeously written account of the complexities of navigating the immigrant experience and finding a home—especially when the place you used to call home no longer exists as it once did…Fresh, vibrant, and enlightening, Miss Ex-Yugoslavia is a stunning immigrant narrative that will tug at your heartstrings the whole way through.”