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"Zlata's Diary" Essay

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  • December 7, 2008
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I chose to read a book that sounded really interesting to me. I found out about it last year during one of the Book Festivals. The book is called Zlatas Diary, and it is written by Zlata Filipović. It is from the Memoir/Autobiography genre. This is a diary that was published, and the author became really famous because of all the things that she had to go through, and because of her experiences. She had many journalists coming to interview her. The setting is in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina during the war in 1901 through 1903.

In the beginning of the book Zlata is a eleven-year-old girl living in Sarajevo. Her life is perfect and she comes from a high-class family. She is into piano lessons, friends, school, music, etc. Suddenly she looses all of that due to a horrifying experience of war. She would have never imagined her life turning out like that. She feels that the war is taking her childhood away, and she cannot live in peace. Sarajevo is being badly shelled and she witnesses how the world around her is being destroyed.

The most important idea in this book is how a war can take away the childhood of a person. Zlata couldnt have a normal life anymore and she had to spend days in the cellar, because it was dangerous to go outside. She was used to a good life, so this was a really drastic change for her. She suffers a lot through war, and her days become like torture. She says, Sometimes I say—this isnt life, its an imitation of life, (page 80). Her life really seems like an imitation, because you just wouldnt be able to call that life. She also comments about her childhood saying, My childhood, youth and life are slipping away while I wait. We stand as witnesses who didnt deserve to have to live through all this, (page 172). She says that its not fair for innocent people to suffer in that way, and that she isnt able to live because of the war.

In Sarajevo they have nothing except bombs, deaths, fire, attacks, and snipers. There is no electricity,...