January 23, 2024
Christine Evans' Nadia (U Iowa Press, 2023) is a dark novel about how the trauma of war follows people no matter how far they’ve fled. A few years after the Balkan War, two refugees from Sarajevo are temping in the same questionable London office. Nadia, who is Bosnian, is unhinged by memories of starvation, deprivation, and losing everyone she loved, including her family and her girlfriend, Sanja. She sees potential snipers and visions of Sanja throughout London, sometimes becoming unhinged by it. All she has is her office friends, and the Indian family where she has tea with buns every day. Iggy was a Serbian sniper who gunned down Bosnians as part of a militaristic street gang, but he justifies all the innocent people he kills by weighing them against the people he saved by distracting his friends or purposefully missing. They’re both forced to confront their choices during the chaotic days of the war, but Nadia still struggles with survivor’s guilt, the ethical choices she made in taking a job in a shady office, and her queer sexuality.
Christine Evans writes internationally produced plays, opera libretti, and fiction. Christine’s theater and opera work has been staged at the Sydney Opera House, the American Repertory Theater and many other venues, and her plays are published by Samuel French. She is a multiple MacDowell fellow, VCCA fellow, and a recipient of several DC Council on the Arts & Humanities Fellowships. Originally from Australia, she is a Professor of Performing Arts at Georgetown University, and lives in Washington, DC. She loves the ocean beyond all reason, dreams of dividing her time (as they say on the book jackets) between DC and Australia and has just dusted off her mandolin to start playing music again.