The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo
by Paula Huntley

Paula with Edona, in the classroom, Prishtina, Spring, 2001

Kosovar human rights activist, Sevdie Ahmeti, with Paula

Graves of the 58 members of the Jashari family, massacred by Serb forces March, 1998

The mountains outside Prizren, Kosovo

Praise for The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo

"[Huntley's] memoir is poignant, thoughtful, and humble -- and exactly the kind of story Americans need to hear right now."
Brad Newsham, The San Francisco Chronicle

[Huntley's] day to day attempts to understand life under Milosevic provide more complete and personal information about 'the blood of the past' than most journalistic accounts. She describes her experiences living as an American volunteer in a war-torn country in a clear, strong voice, and poignantly reveals her struggle to gain her students' trust and instill them with hope.
Bookmarks Magazine

"[Huntley's journal]is a glowing testament to why people in far-off countries about which we know little, and too often care even less, still admire, respect, and even love Americans."
Michael Kenney, Boston Globe

"Paula Huntley's surprisingly affecting memoir arrives at an opportune moment; it reminds us not merely that Kosova exists but also of the importance of that Bush-Rovian bogeyman, nation-building . . . Nation building requires not merely, not even primarily, the commitment of government resources; it also requires brave and ordianry Americans like Paula Huntley -- and one hopes, like some of her readers, who will perhaps be inspired by her stories -- to leave the comforts of home and see the world unmediated through television cameras or journalists' eyes."
Jon Fasman, The Washington Post

". . .destined to be a bestseller . . . it makes you angry, fills you with hope and drowns you in sorrow --all at the same time."
Melissa Brown, BookReporter.com

"A simple, lovely book . . .[Huntley] learned that she could make a big difference in the lives of her students merely by providing them with love and encouragement. She believes other Americans can do the same if we only can afree ourselves from our psychological isolation."
Miami Herald

"This moving, painful and ultimately uplifting memoir began as a series of e-mails to friends at home, and the entries retain the casual, heartfelt wisdom of someone writing off the top of her head. Huntley is all the things a reader would want in a guide to a foreign world: at times angry, at times frustrated with politics, at times funny, but always homing in on the most telling, human experiences."
Jill Wolfson, San Jose Mercury News

"This unpretentious record is an all too rare thing --a memoir of the heart about a forsaken part of the world that blazed into headlines, grabbed its bloody fifteen minutes of fame, and then promptly fell off the West's radar screen once again. . .
Huntley offers no solutions, no analysis. But what does light this book is her persistent faith in the power of connectedness, of nurturing the human spirit, of the obligations that we, as human beings, have to one another."
Sara Terry, Hope Magazine

"Although she never intended for her journal to be published, its beautiful, soul-searching passages deserve to be embraced by the world."
Booklist

"Gripping, heartbreaking reading. . . . The interweaving of Hemingway's story, the students' narratives of terror and Huntley's own tales of discovery make for a book that is stirring and nearly impossible to put down."
Lev Raphael, Ft. Worth Star Telegram

"Huntley's ability to find both humor and humanity in the region speaks of her love for Kosovo and its people. . . . As she wanders through her time and newfound friendships in Kosovo, there is an intimacy in Huntley's style. Ultimately, she reminds readers that life - and effective writing - is not always about following the rules, but about following your heart."
L.E. Rich, Rocky Mountain News

"Huntley has made it her business to enable the reader to see [the] face in the crowd. These young Kosovars, bound together by their book group and by their aspirations of better lives, become individual and memorable and lovable. And she offers readers a challenge when she recalls James Hillman's exhortation to "pick one place where your heart can connect to the world's problems."
New Orleans Times-Picayne

"In her exquisite diary, Huntley chronicles her discovery of just how much she has to offer her class of Kosovar Albanian students . . . With this perfect balance between the lofty and the concrete, she gives another gift to her students: She has ensured that anyone who reads her book will truly know and remember this forsaken Balkan land."
Daphne Uviller, Newsday

" . . . a clear window into a society severely divided and struggling with the aftermath of "ethnic cleansing". . . NATO bombing and continued international occupation.
Huntley tells these stories [of her students' war experiences] with intelligent straightforwardness, honesty and compassion, without exploitation or sensationalism.
[Huntley has] an ability to move personal observations into the realm of broader social issues and international policy."
Tricia Snell, The Oregonian

"This wonderful book is a story of love and transformation. Huntley is an excellent storyteller . . . . She writes with heart and intelligence, which is my definition of wisdom. Soon the reader is a member of The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo."
- Mary Pipher, author of Reviving Ophelia, Another Country and The Middle of Everywhere


. . . Huntley, a dutiful reporter, conveys her Kosovo experiences with the careful eye of a gifted correspondent, but more important is her empathy. When she has to cut her year-long stay short by months, she records that one of her students sends her an email plea: "Don't forget us." Huntley won't. And thanks to her deeply felt storytelling, neither will we.
Katherine Hottinger, The Barnes and Noble Review

"Through the poignant voices of Paula Huntley's Kosovar students, we learn what it is like to live through the unspeakable horrors of apartheid, killings and terror that Milosevic unleashed on the Kosovar people. We also get a glimpse into the daily lives of the students as each of them struggles to create a future, to cope with unimaginable challenges, and to confront their hatreds. Every American should read this absorbing book to better understand why the U.S. intervened to end the ethnic cleansing in Kosovo, to be inspired by the human capacity to endure, and to learn about the enormous difficulties that still confront the Kosovars. The loving relationship of this American teacher to her war-scarred students will profoundly touch the hearts and minds of all readers."
- Melanne Verveer, Chair, Vital Voices Global Partnership, Former Chief of Staff to First Lady Hillary Clinton

"In delineating both the tragedy of [the Kosovars'] lives and their resilience, Paula Huntley has written a beautiful, fascinating and heartening book. Don't miss it - it's a must-read for every book club in America."
- Ann Zwinger, author of Downcanyon and The Nearsighted Naturalist

"This poignant journal shines a human light on the brave Kosovar Muslim Albanians. With insight, Paula Huntley intimately crosses the cultural divide and lovingly embraces her young students' spirit of humanism, while Hemingway's "undefeated" old man comes to symbolize their enduring hopes, and the future."
- Terence Ward, author of Searching for Hassan

"Paula Huntley's journal is full of the rich details that make a place and a people spring to life off the page. This book is an important plea for Americans to become more involved in the wider world, but most of all it is a Hemingwayesque story of the extraordinary courage of ordinary poeple, trying to build lives of dignity and woth out of the rubble of poverty, hatred and war."
- Dr. Susan F. Beegel, editor, The Hemingway Review

"Sometimes a small story tells a far larger one. Such is the case with The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo Paula Huntley shows us the common humanity that can heal even the most terribly wounds."
- Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

"The Hemingway Book Club of kOsovo is engaging, compassionate and inspirational . . . .Paula Huntley's loving involvement with her students went far beyond teaching: she changed their lives, and they changed hers."
- Jeri Laber, a founder of Human Rights Watch and author of The Courage of Strangers

"It is rare to find a book written with such honesty, rarer still to find one that strikes at the heart of what is most rewarding in human experience: the knowledge that one has really lived, and lived meaningfully. This book is brave and heartfelt . . . a poignant and timely testimony to those values which transcend culture and circumstance. I hope it will become an inspiration to many others."
- Jason Elliott, author of An Unexpected Light: Travels in Afghanistan

"Sometimes a small story tells a far larger one. Such is the case with The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo. Paula Huntley shows us the common humanity that can heal even the most terrible wounds."
- Ambassador Richard Holbrooke

Published by Tarcher/Penguin.

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