“[A] sunny, can-do look at intense culture shock. Debeljak makes a humorous, self-effacing guide to her own story and the only complaint I have is that I wish she’d told us more. I hope someday she gives us a sequel.”—Christian Science Monitor • “Witty and warm.”—Kirkus Reviews
Forbidden Bread is an unusual love story that covers great territory, both geographically and emotionally. The author leaves behind a successful career as an American financial analyst to pursue Ales Debeljak, a womanizing Slovenian poet who catches her attention at a cocktail party. The story begins in New York City, but quickly migrates, along with the author, to Slovenia. As she struggles to forge an identity in her new home, Slovenia itself undergoes the transformation from a communist to a capitalist society. A complicated language, politically incorrect ethnic jokes, and old-fashioned sexism are just a few of the challenges Debeljak faces on her journey. Happily, she marries her poet and comes to love her new husband’s family as well as the fast-disappearing rural traditions of this beautiful country. Set against the dramatic backdrop of the Slovenian Ten Day War and the much longer Yugoslav wars of succession, Forbidden Bread shows a worldly and courageous woman coming to grips with her new life and family situation in a rapidly changing European landscape.