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  • Published 20120130
  • ISBN: 9781921922008
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

THE GREY LIGHT of the cold November afternoon, like tracing paper, was getting weaker as he reached the southern edges of the Arizona flea market on the northern plains of Bosnia. The fear of war was creeping like a slow and silent beast into the lives of common people, and Babo considered himself one of them – except he was not afraid. He had promised a new iron stove to his mother who, despite her old age and health problems, refused to abandon her house and animals in the village to spend the winter with Babo, her eldest son, and his wife and two little boys in his city apartment. Asparuhov – ‘the Bulgarian’, as everyone at the Arizona market knew him – had sworn he would have those stoves in stock by late September. Since then, instead of goods he was delivering one pathetic excuse after another.

Babo wasn’t fooled easily, but he didn’t have much choice. The talk of war meant people were buying wooden stoves, petrol lamps, candles, torches, and stocking up on food and fuel.

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