The life story of a Serbian woman over a period of more than 70 years, preserved in memoirs, letters and mostly diaries, recounts the triumphs and tragedies of a life that takes place against the backdrop of extraordinary turbulence in the Balkans. It covers more than half a century, five wars (including the two world wars), and four ideologies. This is a time of excitement in Serbia as its leaders carve an independent state out of the Ottoman Empire and attempt to modernize a largely rural and backwardA" corner of Europe. A time of opportunity for many who join in the effort to build the infrastructure of a modern economy, as well as the growing number of middle class families who send their children, in rare cases even girls, to the emerging system of state schools. Above all, a time of war, as the expanding Serbian state comes into conflict with its neighbors and, ultimately, the Great Powers of Europe. Accompanied by an introductory study, Natalija's diary provides a rich background to understanding the on-going conflict in the Balkans today.
Jill A. Irvine is Associate Professor and Director of the Women's Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma. Carol S. Lilly is Professor of History at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Preface Introduction Part I. Years of Hope, 1880-1911 Chapter 1. Childhood Chapter 2. Learning Motherhood Chapter 3. Life and Politics in Small-Town Serbia Chapter 4. The Family Moves South Chapter 5. The Balkan Wars Part II. Years of War, 1914-1924 Chapter 6. The War Begins: July 1914 to October 1915 Chapter 7. Refugees: October 1915 to January 1916, Prokuplje Chapter 8. Life Under Occupation: 1916 Chapter 9. Resistance: 1917 Chapter 10. Endings: 1918 Chapter 11. Beginnings: 1919 Part III. Years of Disappointment, 1924-1956 Chapter 12. A New Country, A New Life: 1924-1927 Chapter 13. Europe in Decline: 1932-1939 Chapter 14. War Again: 1939-1945 Chapter 15. Twilight Appendix: Natalija Matia-Zrnia and Her Family Pronunciation Guide Glossary Bibliography Map Credits