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Forbidden Bread

3.84 of 5 stars 3.84  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  12 reviews
Forbidden Bread is an unusual love story that covers great territory, both geographically and emotionally. The author leaves behind a successful career as an American financial analyst to pursue Ales Debeljak, a womanizing Slovenian poet who catches her attention at a cocktail party. The story begins in New York City, but quickly migrates, along with the author, to Sloveni ...more
Paperback, 304 pages
Published April 7th 2009 by North Atlantic Books
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Forbidden Bread by Erica Johnson DebeljakOryx and Crake by Margaret AtwoodSaga o Hallgerd by Svetlana MakarovičNemška loterija by Miha MazziniThe Blind Assassin by Margaret Atwood
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Daisy
Jul 29, 2010 Daisy rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Alenka, J.
At first I thought I was going to have to drudge through repeated phrases and clichés, but after the first chapter describing falling in love with an "exotic, dark-haired poet-lover" (oh I rolled my eyes at that one), this book got much better. An American woman marries a Slovenian man and moves to Ljubljana during the height of the disintegration of Yugoslavia in the 1990s. She remains there despite danger, language and culture barriers, and the usual doubts about marriage.
Her memoir is intere
...more
Aaron
May 14, 2009 Aaron rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: armchair travellers, Americans
Delightful fish-out-of water memoir of a successful American woman who falls in love with a young poet and joins him in his homeland of Slovenia, recently emerged from the former nation of Yugoslavia. Like most Americans, my only real familiarity with the former Yugoslavia centered around horrific accounts of ethnic cleansing in Kosovo and the subsequent trial and conviction of Slobodan Milošević. From this book, I learned Slovenia was largely insulated from those conflicts; they emerged as an i ...more
Meaghan
A quite good memoir. The author, a financial analyst in New York City, threw caution to the wind when she married a Slovenian poet and moved to his brand-spanking-new country in 1993. She didn't know anyone else there and didn't speak Slovenian, and the war in Bosnia was going on close enough that they could hear it. Nevertheless, the transition was a success.

Debeljak fell in love with her adopted county and writes about it beautifully and with good-natured humor -- both its good parts and its b
...more
Amanda
This is one of those stories that has a little bit of everything: love, war, history, culture, travel, humor. It is never just a love story or just a travelogue though. Most of all it is a story of transformation; firstly of Aleš and Erica as they transition from lovers to husband and wife to parents and secondly, of Slovenia as it transitions from being part of Yugoslavia to a newly independent country.
After the first third of the book, I was not sure if I liked it enough to keep reading. I was
...more
Betsy
I really liked this book about a woman who left a good job in NYC to live with her Slovenian boyfriend in Ljubljana in the early 90's, just after independence from Yugoslavia and way before Slovenia joined the EU. She married the guy, had kids, and still lives there. It was interesting to learn more about the history of the country, from the author's point of view, before I traveled to Slovenia.
Julia
This is the biography of the author's falling in love with a slovenian poet and consequently following him to his home-country from the states - a small country in the heart of Europe (not so very different from Austria in this aspect) which has just emerged from the conglomerate of Ex-Yugoslavia when the author arrives at the beginning of the nineties.

The book is a pleasant easy-to-read mixture of a little bit of history, some linguistic chit-chat, descriptions of the problems encountered when
...more
Libraryscat
Let me begin this review with thanks to LibraryThing for providing me with the opportunity to read this wonderful book. The second thing is that my lifelong dream has been to be a Slovak peasant � knowing of course, as author Erica Johnson Debeljak discovers in her book Forbidden Bread that this group doesn� t exist in Central Europe with the romanticized vision I have in my head. But when Erica first moved to Slovenia with her lover and fianc�, the rural lifestyle and traditions were still comm ...more
Lisa
I read this book because I am headed to Slovenia later this year and knew nothing of the history of the area. I wanted a bit of background in an easy to understand and entertaining way. The book delivered well on this aspect for me, as an easy way into a better understanding of the history and culture. Now, I can read the more historical pieces with a bit more context. It also was well written and a nice story.
Sharon
Top notch memoir by an American who moves to Slovenia (a formerly Communist) Central European country when she marries Alesh, her "black-haired poet lover".

Perfectly combines the personal with the historical/political. Recommended if you like memoirs, Communist-bloc narratives, love stories, or stories of personal growth and cultural change.
Phil
Fun, easy going memoir of another american who has fallen in love with slovenia...the difference is she is still living there.
Bill
Good list of typical experience that a first-timer has dealing with Slovenes--insightful--but the writing is atrocious.
Dan Dyck
Great read for anyone considering a visit to Slovenia.
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Erica Johnson Debeljak (born 1961, San Francisco, U.S.) is an American-Slovenian writer and translator, an American expatriate living in Slovenia.

From 1987 to 1993, she worked as an financial analyst at the French government-owned Banque Nationale de Paris and as lender to the major Wall Street firms.

After moving to Slovenia, she has worked as a translator and columnist for local newspaper Delo. H
...more
More about Erica Johnson Debeljak...
Tujka v hiši domačinov Anti-fa cona Tako si moj Srečko Kosovel: pesnik in jaz Muriša

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