Letter of thanks from Angela Brkic
I would like to send out my sincerest thanks to the many people who have supported me during the publication of my book, Stillness and other Stories. Their assistance has meant a great deal to the book’s success and to me, personally. Over the past few months, Stillness has generated positive reviews in the Chicago Tribune, the New York Times, the Times of London, Newsday, the Los Angeles Times, and other publications. In tough economic times, it has held its own and received an award from the Whiting Foundation this Thursday.
It was not an easy road to publication. I was turned away by countless agents and publishing houses which informed me that the book’s subject matter (the wars in Croatia and in Bosnia-Herzegovina) was the “kiss of death”. Who, they repeatedly asked, would want to read a book on so depressing a topic? They frequently suggested scrapping the project altogether and writing about other things. I persevered even as I struggled to pay my rent. I am lucky beyond words, however, because my family was as dedicated to the project as I was.
Recently, a review in “The Anniston Star” was brought to my attention. It was written by Amna Jakupovic, a Croatian student in Florida. Although I have never met Ms. Jakupovic or heard of “The Anniston Star”, it is a review of great significance to me. She wrote:
“While reading this book I felt stronger love and passion for my country and my people. I also discovered a secret of human nature: no matter how many wars plague a country, nor how many lives are taken, the spirit survives…As a woman I read and review this book. Yet, I am a girl who still hides her feelings and memories in her heart. I am a girl whose dad fought in this war, and I did not know where he was for six months. I am a woman who has learned from this book — “people are strong seeds.” People survive with all the memories, good or bad.”
I would specifically like to thank Katherine Rosich and the entire Rosich family, Katarina Deletis, Dr. and Mrs. Vedran Deletis, Catherine Kanjer Kapphahn, Josip Novakovich, Jere Real and Nenad Bach. Generally, I would like to thank everyone who bought the book, people who showed up to my events and spoke words of encouragement, and people who passed the word along.