Travels in Undiscovered Country
Tony Fabijancic

The University of Alberta Press
April, 2003
Trade Paperback/186 pages
ISBN: 0-88864-397-7
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University of Alberta Press


"Fabijancic spins a fascinating tale . . ."

". . . see ghosts of humanity in the crumbling walls of sun-bleached seaside villas . . ."

"Croatia . . . it's a frame of mind, a mood, a sensation."

"Destroyed bridges in the former Yugoslavia are heavily symbolic. Many of them aren''t being rebuilt, and that says something too."


A literate Canadian shares his insightful impressions of his father''s homeland in Croatia: Travels in Undiscovered Country. From a leisurely walking holiday along the hot, rocky Adriatic coastline, to interviews with peasants in the pleasant rolling farmlands of Slavonia and Zagorje, to the "European" overtones that permeate the populace in the capital of Zagreb, Fabijancic spins a fascinating tale of a people and a place that at once seems timeless as well as timely.

In spite of recent conflict with its neighbors, Croatia is a country ready to take on the world scene. Although outwardly eager to leave its "Balkan reputation" behind to become a player in Western Europe, many of its rural inhabitants seem content to live their lives on the land as their ancestors have for centuries. "We have everything we want," says a rural teen. "Good air, good food, good company. Why live in Zagreb?"

As he travels the Croatian countryside Fabijancic admits to possessing a strange mixture of feelings. He immediately feels at home in a land that holds many stark contrasts to his privileged Canadian upbringing. He sees ghosts of humanity in the crumbling walls of sun-bleached seaside villas of the coast and war-ravaged buildings of the north. He marvels at how, in Herzegovina, some still hang onto the idealism that all residents of the former Yugoslavia might one day live in peace.

Armchair tourists pour yourself a glass of strong plum brandy–sljivovica–and prepare to barbecue a whole pig. . . . Open up Croatia and start reading. You''ll be engulfed in more than a world–it''s a frame of mind, a mood, a sensation. It''s the next best thing to being there.
Reviewer: Cindy Appel