You Don't Have to Live Here: A Novel

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Random House, 2005 - Fiction - 192 pages
Shunted from Yugoslavia to Cuba to Greece among her Muslim mother and her Gypsy Christian father and a battery of more and less well-meaning aunts and uncles, finally making her own way to New York City, sharp-eyed, sharp-tongued Sasha can't seem to stay out of trouble.
She ditches school. She runs away. She steals a neighbor's potatoes. She makes friends with heroin addicts. She falls in love too early and, as far as her family is concerned, with the wrong kind of men. She rages against the unfairness of her mother's illness and the hypocrisies of privilege and racism in Communist societies. Most important, she tells it like it is, and finds the goodness in not so obviously good people, including herself.
In this picaresque narrative that is at once jagged and soulful, Natasha Radojcic has created a bittersweet coming-of-age story, an original immigrant song and a brave new character in fiction. Sasha is a strong and spectacular survivor-clear-eyed and intelligent, hard-living, always loving. "You Don't Have to Live Here" is a visceral adventure about the running-from and running-to that we somehow recognize as growing up.

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User Review  - Kirkus

Second-novelist Radojcic (Homecoming, 2002) returns with a bleakly uplifting, well-wrought tale of a troubled, rebellious Yugoslav teenager's determination to find somewhere she fits in. Sasha, barely ... Read full review

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About the author (2005)

NATASHA RADOJCIC was born in Belgrade. In her early twenties, on her own, she came to New York City, earned an MFA in fiction writing from Columbia University, and stayed. She is the author of "Homecoming.

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