I remarked to a friend yesterday that my meeting and getting a publishing agreement with Biljana Petrova may very well prove to be as momentous as say, the meeting of Margaret Mitchell and her publisher for Gone With The Wind. And yes, I’m well aware that this sounds, almost certainly like some bit of boasting or way overstating the case. And yet.
I genuinely believe that like Ms. Mitchell, whose novel brought home the realities of the US Civil War to a huge global audience, Biljana may prove to be the literary voice of a generation of people from what used to be called the Socialist Federal Republic of Jugoslavija. I believe that Biljana has the voice and the vision to pull off an historical novel every bit as big as Gone With The Wind. I realize of course that there is no guarantee that she will write this magnum opus which I envision. And yet it seems palpably real to me, like the ghostly Miss Espresso whom I feel certain I would always just miss, if I were to try to track her down in real life, rather than in the magical pages of Black And White.
I am taking my time with this. I have forwarded the manuscript to two very trusted good friends, and will not proceed until I have heard back from both of them. I know from my own experience that Black And White, although a short book, is most certainly Not a quick and easy read. It is the sort of book one savors and re-reads bits of several times before meandering on. I have also consulted with a book designer and am going to see if we can not improve upon the book cover image. I believe that Black And White is the first of several books that are destined to be huge, enduring best sellers. I think I just grabbed a tiger by the tale. The trick now is to hang on.