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 »  Home  »  Culture And Arts  »  (E) The Labyrinth by Blanka Raguz
(E) The Labyrinth by Blanka Raguz
By Nenad N. Bach | Published  12/7/2004 | Culture And Arts | Unrated
(E) The Labyrinth by Blanka Raguz

 

Escaping War’s Labyrinth of Fear and Sorrow

New Novel Follows Young Woman’s Plight to Discover Dreams despite War’s Devastation

Blanka Raguz delves into one woman’s courageous story of finding her dreams through the darkness of her homeland’s turmoil in The Labyrinth (now available through AuthorHouse).

            Martina Tomic blossoms into a young woman in her town of Vukovar, Croatia just before the fall of communism. The daughter of two reputable doctors, she spends her teenage years daydreaming about traveling to far-off places and aspiring to become a theater actress.

            Her dreams take off when she visits New York as an exchange student at the age of 13. While living with an American family, Martina experiences the world much different than the oppressing atmosphere of communism at home. Also, she develops a strong affection for the young boy of the family, Ian Erricson. During her stay Martina and Ian become close confidants and develop intimate friendship.

            Upon returning to Vukovar, Martina engages herself in studies and theater. However, her future is clouded by the country’s growing instability as the economic and political crises escalate.

            A few years later, Martina again visits New York. Time has matured her and she seeks romance with Ian, but a shocking discovery about him ends her hopes of a relationship and causes her to question her shortcomings and fears. She journeys back to Croatia to mend her broken heart. New hope rises as Martina’s dreams of acting become a reality and she meets fellow actor Goran, who fulfills her longing for love.

            War soon sweeps across Croatia, however, and shatters her world. Martina witnesses unspeakable destruction, during which many of her fellow countrymen are being killed, wounded or expelled. Along with the war disappears her life in theater. Martina becomes a hero as she buries her true desires to selflessly care for her countrymen. She joins her parents who work as doctors in Vukovar Hospital. She tends to dying patients and tells stories of hope to little children afflicted by the war’s calamities.

After a long siege, citizens of Vukovar face terrifying consequences as the town falls into the enemy’s hands. The fall of her hometown offsets a series of tragedies in Martina’s life as she enters a dark, invisible labyrinth of losses and sorrows.

After losing those she loves most to the heinous crime of genocide, she finds the courage to persevere alone. She escapes to New York to weave together the torn threads of her life, but the unforgiving metropolis presents a barrage of new challenges that threaten to break her once and for all.

            A gripping story that illustrates how love and beauty can triumph over war’s senseless destruction, The Labyrinth captivates readers with its power and emotion.

            Raguz was born in Croatia and received a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from New York University. Although she has lived in New York for many years, she maintains her strong interest in Croatia’s cultural heritage and history. The Labyrinth is her first book.

            For more information on how to orderThe Labyrinth go towww.blankaraguz.com or send e-mail to blankaraguz@aol.com

The Labyrinth – kratki pregled sadrzaja

The Labyrinth je triler sa mnostvom zapleta koji govori o ljubavi, izdaji i cijeni osvete. Prica se zbiva na dva kontinenta, Europi i Sjevernoj Americi. Glavna junakinja, Martina Tomic, odrasta u Vukovaru, Hrvatskoj, neposredno prije pada komunizma u Europi. Kcerka dvaju uglednih lijecnika, Martina provodi svoje pubertetske godine sanjajuci o putovanjima u daleke zemlje i planirajuci da postane kazalisna glumica. Njezin san da upozna svijet ostvaruje se kada u trinaestoj godini posjecuje New York u sklopu razmjene ucenika i provodi ljeto sa jednom americkom obitelji. Tu ne samo spoznaje svijet potpuno drugaciji od opresivne atmosfere komunizma kod kuce, nego i susrece Iana Ericcsona – djecaka u kojeg se zaljubljuje na prvi pogled. On stanuje u istoj kuci sa svojim strogim i dominantnim ocuhom Maximillianom Smithom i ekscentricnom ali prekrasnom polusestrom Kyrom. Tijekom boravka u Americi Martina i Ian postaju izuzetno bliski i razvijaju snazno prijateljstvo.

Po povratku kuci, Martina se posvecuje ucenju i kazalistu. Medjutim, ni sigurnost Vukovara niti ljubav unutar toplog obiteljskog krila, ne uspjevaju je zastititi od politickog i socioloskog previranja u zemlji. Od smrti predsjednika-diktatora, do rastuce ekonomske krize i politickih bitaka, Martina postaje svjedokom ogromne promjene u drustvu i odrasta zabrinuta za svoju buducnost.

Nekoliko godina kasnije Martina odlazi u jos jednu posjetu New Yorku. Kao mlada djevojka na samom rubu otkrivanja vlastite zenstvenosti, biva zatecena svojom ljubavi prema Ianu. Njezin drugi posjet razotkriva joj neocekivana otkrica o njemu. Usljed toga Martina se suocava sa vlastitom seksualnoscu, nedostatcima i strahovima. Vraca se u Vukovar odlucna da odustane od ljubavi koju ne moze imati. Nakon sto vrijeme ublazava njene rane, Martina se sprijateljuje sa Goranom, mladim kolegom iz kazalista. To prijateljstvo prerasta u romansu. Usred drustva koje se oko njih raspada, Goran ostaje svjetla tocka u njezinom zivotu.

Komunizam se rusi i novi val politickih promjena zahvaca Europu, a u Hrvatskoj izbija rat. Martinin rodni grad pada pod opsadu. Martina postaje svjedokom neizrecivih unistenja, tijekom kojih mnostvo njenih sunarodnjaka biva ubijano, ranjeno ili protjerano iz svojih domova. Usporedo s tim, nestaje i njezin zivot u kazalistu. U nastojanju da pomogne svojim sunarodnjacima, Martina se pridruzuje svojim roditeljima koji rade kao lijecnici u Vukovarskoj bolnici. Njeguje ranjene i umiruce, te kazuje price ispunjene nadom vukovarskoj djeci pogodjenoj ratnim strahotama.

Nakon duge opsade, gradjani Vukovara suocavaju se sa zastrasujucim posljedicama nastalim padom grada u neprijateljske ruke. Pad njezinog grada prouzrokuje niz tragedija u Martininom zivotu i predstavlja njezin ulazak u mracan, nevidljivi labirint gubitaka i tuge.

Ostavsi bez icega, sama sa brojnim uspomenama koje je nastavljaju proganjati, Martina odlazi u New York u namjeri da se udalji od rata i pokusa pokrpati komadice svog rastrganog zivota. Ali nemilosrdna metropola postavlja pred nju nove izazove, mnogo vece nego sto je ikada mogla i zamisliti. Ne samo da joj vraca u zivot Iana, covjeka kojeg je jednom voljela a onda izgubila, nego je prisiljava da ponovno prozivi sablasne dozivljaje iz proslosti i da se suoci sa misterioznim uzrocima njene osobne tragedije. Time pada jos dublje u labirint ispunjen tajnama i lazima, ne uspjevajuci pronaci izlaz ili nekoga kome bi mogla vjerovati. Unutar labirinta testiraju se svi bivsi i postojeci odnosi u Martininom zivotu, maske bivaju otklonjene i misterije razotkrivene. Jednom za svagda, Martina se suocava sa beskrajnim pitanjima. Hoce li ikada uspjeti pronaci put koji vodi iz labirinta, razbiti okove proslosti i otkriti novi smisao svoga narusenog postojanja? Hoce li moci ponovno posloziti komadice mozaika zauvijek raskomadanog nemilosrdnim ratom?

Prica koja potpuno zaokupljuje citatelja, The Labyrinth ilustrira nastojanje ljudskog duha da nadvlada mracne prepreke u zivotu i pokazuje kako ljubav i ljepota pobjedjuju nad besmislenoscu mrznje i ratnih razaranja.

Dodatne informacije o knjizi, kao i upute kako naruciti knjigu, mozete dobiti na web straniciwww.blankaraguz.com ili ako posaljete e-mail nablankaraguz@aol.com

 

SHORT INFORMATION ABOUT THE AUTHOR: BLANKA RAGUZ

www.blankaraguz.com

Blanka Raguz was born in a historic town of Pozega, Croatia.  She developed an interest for writing at a young age and nurtured it by keeping diaries and recording everyday life of then communist Yugoslavia.  Her ambition was to break away from the communist propaganda that surrounded her and that she resented and to experience complete freedom of expression in the United States.

Raguz arrived in New York in 1987 and immediately felt a sense of belonging in the one-of-a-kind metropolis, eventually earning a B.A in Fine Arts from New York University and making a life-long commitment to writing screenplays and stories.

The Labyrinth is Raguz’s first novel. Although a work of fiction, the story is based and inspired by true events, namely the Croatian war for independence and the fall of the legendary town of Vukovar in 1991. The story also grew out of the author’s compassion for the defenders of Vukovar, which was sacrificed for the country’s freedom.

Raguz lives in Astoria, New York and continues to find inspiration in the cultural and historic heritage of both her Croatian homeland and her adopted new home, New York. She is currently working on another novel.

http://www.authorhouse.com/BookStore/ItemDetail.aspx?q3=BpV8dJBuUas%253d

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