May, 1992. Hana is twelve years old when she is put on one of the last UN evacuation buses fleeing the besieged city of Sarajevo. Her twenty-one-year-old sister, Atka, staying behind to look after their five younger siblings, is there to say goodbye. Thinking that they will be apart for only a few weeks, they make a promise to each other to be brave. But as the Bosnian war escalates and months go by without contact, their promise to each other becomes deeply significant. Hana is forced to cope as a refugee in Croatia, far away from home and family, while Atka battles for survival in a city where snipers, mortar attacks and desperate food shortages are a part of everyday life. Their mother, working for a humanitarian aid organisation, is unable to reach them and their father retreats inside himself, shocked at what is happening to his city. In Sarajevo, death lurks in every corner and shakes the foundation of their existence. One day their beloved uncle is killed while queuing up for bread in the market square, in a massacre similar to the one three months earlier which prompted a cellist to make a lone musical protest in the deserted streets. But when Atka finds work as a translator in an old, smoky radio station, and then with a photojournalist from New Zealand, life takes an unexpected turn, and the remarkable events that follow change her life, and those of her family, forever.
Set in the middle of the bloodiest European conflict since the Second World War, Goodbye Sarajevo is a moving and compelling true story of courage, hope and extraordinary human kindness.
This dramatic story of two sisters and their family gives a unique insight into the reality of the Bosnian conflict. The personal stories will attract significant media attention For fans of The Cellist of Sarajevo and Zlata's Diary The authors are immensely articulate and will be interviewed on radio, television and in the press
'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' Janine di Giovanni
Atka (Kafedzic) Reid was born in Sarajevo in 1970. At the outbreak of the Bosnian war, she was a political science student. During the war, she worked as a reporter for a local radio station and as an interpreter for the foreign press. Upon her arrival in New Zealand she worked as a journalist in Christchurch. She later gained a Diploma in graphic design and worked as a graphic designer. She and Andrew, the New Zealand photojournalist she met in Sarajevo, live in Auckland with their two sons.
Hana (Kafedzic) Schofield was born in Sarajevo in 1979. She spent two years living as a refugee in Croatia during the siege of Sarajevo. In 1995 she arrived in New Zealand with her family, speaking no English. In 2002 she graduated from the University of Canterbury with first class honours in Law and a bachelor's degree in Russian. Since then she has worked as a lawyer for a leading New Zealand law firm, and more recently for a City law firm in London. Hana is also a qualified performance consultant. She is married to James and lives in Auckland.