The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo

The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo In August Paula Huntley s husband took a leave of absence from his teaching post at a law school and she resigned from her marketing job of thirteen years Huntley s husband had signed on with t

  • Title: The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo
  • Author: Paula Huntly Paula Huntly
  • ISBN: 9781585422111
  • Page: 289
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In August 2000, Paula Huntley s husband took a leave of absence from his teaching post at a law school, and she resigned from her marketing job of thirteen years Huntley s husband had signed on with the American Bar Association to help rebuild Kosovo s legal system Not quite sure how she could be of any service in a country that had suffered so much, Huntley found a posiIn August 2000, Paula Huntley s husband took a leave of absence from his teaching post at a law school, and she resigned from her marketing job of thirteen years Huntley s husband had signed on with the American Bar Association to help rebuild Kosovo s legal system Not quite sure how she could be of any service in a country that had suffered so much, Huntley found a position at a private school teaching English to a group of Kosovo Albanians In this inspiring diary of her experiences in Kosovo, Huntley describes the deep friendships she formed with her students and the remarkable book club that they created One day in a bookstore in Prishtina, Huntley stumbled upon a copy of Hemingway s Old Man and the Sea and judging that it was just the right reading level and length she made copies of it for the group Despite lingering concerns that this quintessential American writer so notorious for his machismo might not resonate, the story of the old man s struggle to bring in his big fish touched them deeply So deeply in fact that, though the group went on to read other great American writers, a name for their club was born The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo This book reveals both the fragility and strength of the human spirit Neither a journalist nor a historian, Huntley describes her students experiences during the war and the intimacy of the bond that she formed with them with a rare purity and directness A vision of great hope, The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo reveals the power of human connection to bring about healing in even the most war torn circumstances.

    One thought on “The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo”

    1. Onvan : The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo - Nevisande : Paula Huntley - ISBN : 1585422932 - ISBN13 : 9781585422937 - Dar 272 Safhe - Saal e Chap : 2003

    2. I didn't decide that I liked this book until the very last few pages. I thought the title was misleading as most of the book had very little to do with her teaching Hemingway and a lot to do with her own personal thoughts about the pollution, Kosovar's view of Americans, whether or not they had electricity that day etc. The title comes a name she gives a group of students she is teaching English to. She only has one Hemingway book, The Old Man and the Sea, that she makes copies of for her class. [...]

    3. The premise of this book is that it is culled from a series of journal extracts and emails written by Paula Huntley during her year-long stay in Kosovo where she travelled with her husband, teaching English at the University in Pristina. Indeed Paula herself calls this "an accidental book", and whilst the diary format has no doubt undergone a degree of rewriting prior to publication, the format does give an immediacy and honesty to the narrative: Paula questions her own innermost motivations in [...]

    4. This is the ideal book, really -- easy and entertaining to read, but also insightful and thought-provoking. It is basically a memoir of a middle-aged American woman who lives in Kosovo for eight months, shortly after NATO drove the Serbs out, while her husband tried to help establish a system to create and enforce the rule of law. The author, Paula Huntley, teaches a group of young people English -- in part by leading a reading discussion book based on the book The Old Man and the Sea. As I read [...]

    5. This book has been sitting on my shelf for the better part of a decade, and I’m feeling a bit stupid now that I only just got around to it. Huntley’s short memoir, comprised of various outtakes from a journal she kept during her time in postwar Kosovo, relates both humbling humanity and almost unthinkable savagery. I remember only vaguely hearing about the Balkan conflicts when they were happening. I was only a freshman in high school in 1999, and it struck me in much the way the Rwandan con [...]

    6. No, with killing and bombings and trash dumped in the street and racial hatred, Kosovo doesn't sound like a great place to visit. But when Paula Huntley's husband was sent to Kosovo to helpestablish a legal system, Huntley impulsively decides to accompany him and later jumps into teaching a group of Kosovo AlbaniansEnglish. Unexpectedly, Huntley falls in love---with the country, with its people.Yes, I'd heard of Kosovo, but I doubt I'd have been able to write a coherent essay explaining much abo [...]

    7. What can I say except this was an absolutely excellent book with so much historical information interwoven into the narrative. A good friend of ours just returned from a 2-year Peace Corps. stint in Macedonia. Now I want to talk with him in more depth about his experiences; I feel as if I have a better understanding of that area. Well, actually, to be honest, I now have a bit of KNOWLEDGE and thereby understanding. (Whereas before, I simply had no knowledge!) I am so grateful Huntley shared her [...]

    8. I chose this book to gain a better understanding of the Kosovo (ethnic Albanian) side of the Balkans conflict(s). Mission accomplished, but only at a very shallow level. The book reads like the author's personal journal, perhaps a 5th grade reading level? I feel bad being critical, but the writing is elementary and the analysis and expression of insight and experiences is equally elementary (and repetitive). I'm quite disappointed. But, I have to admit that it's interesting enough for me to fini [...]

    9. A book that shakes up one's perspective on life. We are so blessed in this country with freedom, affluence and comfort it is easy to forget most of the world doesn't live that way.Favorite quotations: " In Kosovo, parents constantly hug and stroke and caress their children. Children, teenagers, love their fathers and mothers. They do not feel entitled to demand, to misbehave, to argue with or terrorize their parents. What are we Americans doing wrong?" p. 148 "e isolation, the ignorance of Ameri [...]

    10. I probably would have never read this book if it wouldn't have been chosen by the book club that I recently joined, but I am really glad I read this. As Paula mentions several times in the book, Kosovars don't know a lot about the world outside of Kosovo, but Americans should know. Unfortunately, a lot of Americans don't know, and I am one of them. This book was very eye opening to the struggles that people face. It also shows that ethnic problems exist just about everywhere. It is amazing that [...]

    11. Better than "Reading Lolita in Tehran" (or at least I liked it better), focusing more on the people and culture of the time and less on drawing stretched-out parallels with over-baked literary analysis. My one critique - of the author, not the book itself - is that in spite of living in Kosova for over a year, she apparently never learned more than a word or two of Albanian, which is a) annoyingly "typical American" and b) makes me raise an eyebrow toward her capability for cultural analysis, bu [...]

    12. A great read for anyone looking for insight into the Kosovo situation, post Serbian war. I have worked overseas and really appreciated the author's perspective, it makes me think I'm not crazy after all, things really are that messed up - that is, unfortunately, a bit of a relief. I've never quite understood all of the aspects of conflicts involved here, but this diary-to-book was really helpful. Somehow it explains how both sides of conflict feel justified in their own violence 'for a higher ca [...]

    13. A powerful story of the strength of humanity, tolerance, and understanding. Huntley takes her readers on a teacher's journey to not only educate her students, but to provide them with a space in which they can fully express themselves. Along the way, we learn about the tragic history surrounding these students through Huntley's keen eyes and the many relationships she develops within the community.

    14. Good book. Because I visited Macedonia during this time frame and have friendships across the Balkens, I found this an interesting read, one with hope and appreciation for the author's thoughts. This is basically her journal from the time she spent is Pristina - and the immediate time after. It is an easy read and I enjoyed it.

    15. This was a Reading Group Choices recommendation and I found it to be interesting and informative. I can see how this book could certainly generate a lively discussion in your reading group particularly if everyone was interested in political issues and the recent conditions of unrest in the Balkan countries. This is a non-fiction account of Paula Huntley and her husband, Ed Villmoare, who go to Kosovo as part of the United States attempt to help establish a modern legal system. Ed has been asked [...]

    16. I was a little disappointed, as some other people who wrote reviews, that the title of the book was a little misleading. The book went into great detail about the war in Kosovo between the Albanians and Serbian ethnicities. At times, it felt like a historical fiction book with some journalistic tendencies. However, Paula's story is a personal journal were she reminisces, daily, on life at the turn of the century in Kosova. Paula's husband has been driven to this crumpled, disputed land to help a [...]

    17. Paula Huntley and her lawyer husband, Ed, make a daring decision to move (for an indefinite period of time) to Prishtina, Kosovo, in 2000 following the 1998-2000 war there between the Albanians and Serbs. (This was the tail end of the horrific civil war that occurred in the former Yugoslavia/Balkans during the 1990s.) Ed's presence is desired to help set up a functioning legal/judicial system in the stricken country, while Paula.wasn't sure what she'd do in the war-devastated city until after sh [...]

    18. Great story about Kosovo after the war in 1999. The author, who is also the protagonist of the story, does a great job at explaining various perspectives and trying to make sense of them. Paula thought that life in Kosovo would be very difficult due to a huge reduction of living standards that she was used to, but to her surprise found life to be tolerable and enjoyable. Problems are relative, for in Kosovo, regular annoyances perceived as problems are not real problems. When news comes out abou [...]

    19. I was a little intimidated by this book at first. I know little about Hemingway (I was supposed to read The Sun Also Rises in senior English but, um, didn't) and even less about Kosovo. "The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo" was I in over my head on this one?Well, it didn't take long before I was engrossed in this very readable book, learning a little about Hemingway and a lot about the crisis in Kosovo in the process. I loved the stories of hope from the lives of Huntley's ESL students. She write [...]

    20. In 1999, 800,000 Kosovo Albanians poured over their borders, bringing stories of torture, rape, and massacre. One year later, Paula Huntley's husband signed on with the American Bar Association to build a legal system there, and she accompanied him. Huntley found a position teaching English as a second language to a group of Kosovo Albanians in Prishtina. The Hemingway Book Club of Kosovo is the journal Huntley kept over the eight months that she lived and worked in Kosovo. When Huntley asked he [...]

    21. This book was picked for me as a book group read after a member of our book group sold a house to the author, Paula Huntly. Knowing that the author was going to be at our book group made me really dive into this book and soak up everything about it.As I read this book I just felt really embarrassed at my lack of knowledge about the Kosovar people and their recent history. I loved that Mrs. Huntly, while living in Kosovo with her husband trying to help with reconstruction, took on the daunting ta [...]

    22. The author takes us through her experience as an outsider in Kosovo. Her position as a teacher gives her unprecedented access to the hearts and minds of youth with war, genocide, and ethnic hatred seared into their experiences. Her humble approach and openness leads to incredible insight. It paints a picture of just how indelible are the marks of war, and that complete healing is just not possible. But it also describes with great hope the strides forward that are being maded that are worthy of [...]

    23. Having recently travelled to Croatia and Bosnia, I am intrigued and repulsed by what has occurred in that region over the last 20 years. Huntley's insights into Kosovo so soon after the international intervention are powerful and therefore sometimes emotionally difficult to read. She opens a door for the reader to learn about some individual Kosovar Albanians - the horrors they lived through, the love in their lives of family and friends, and the desire and will to achieve their dreams.It is imp [...]

    24. I picked this book up at a used book store because of the title--anything about book clubs always appeals to me. I'm so glad I did. It's about love and transformation as the author grows from fear of the Albanians to love and acceptance of a people and a country she knew little about. The interweaving of her tale of discovery, Hemingway and his "old man and the sea," her students' narratives of terror, and their instinct to survive, and the attempt to understand ethnic cleansing, the Serb/Albani [...]

    25. In addition to opening my eyes to the devastation and ruin of a very recent war, this book simply inspired me. The author went to Kosovo with her attorney husband so that he could help re-build the judicial system; she herself had no job or purpose there until she took a job teaching English to high schoolers and anyone else who showed up to class. In this journal, she shares the students' stories, her compelling desire to help them create futures, and her own learning process. It's fascinating [...]

    26. What a little gem of a book! It is the true life account of the author's time in Kosovo teaching English to young ethnic Albanians in Kosovo. It is told through her journal entries while in Kosova. It brought to life the tragic lives of the survivors, their fierce love of Americans, and their resiliency and hope for the future. It has made me, once again, re-examine my own life and think again about doing some volunteer work. The author went a little reluctantly because her husband was going to [...]

    27. What an interesting read - like being inside the mind of the author. She was naive and knew she was, and was interested in describing what was in front of her. And she writes in a very literate style. Her juxtaposition of The Old Man and the Sea against what was happening to the kids in Kosova (the reason it becomes Kosovo on the cover is ironic) is insightful and touching. And she had no illusions about making anything all better, but she was doing what she could with what she had in front of h [...]

    28. Paula Huntley's husband volunteered for an American Bar Association project in Kosovo to help create a new legal system in the fall of 2000, the year after NATO bombing had ended. She decided to go along with him and teach ESL, keeping this diary while living in Pristina and teaching a group of students of all ages who were mostly Albanian. I was attracted to the book initially because I knew someone who had just been to Pristina as an ESL teacher. The book was great, you feel such a connection [...]

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