The Macedonian Tendency: New Macedonia Travel Book

Thursday, November 22, 2007

New Macedonia Travel Book

Hidden Macedonia
by Christopher Deliso

Editorial Reviews From Amazon
Product Description

The tectonic lakes of Macedonia, Ohrid and Prespa, are among he most ancient and enthralling in the world, abundant in rare wildlife and the seat of mediaeval kingdoms, richly endowed with sacred shrines, mysteries and watery legends. In this unprecedented account of a circular summertime journey tracing the lakeshore through three countries, Greece, Albania and the Republic of Macedonia, the author seeks out the spirit of the lakes through encounters with fishermen, philosophers, archaeologists and snakes. Penetrating the surface of everyday life and also revealing the deep historical wounds and controversies that still manifest in this long-coveted land, this heartfelt travelogue is also an evocative and at times riotously funny chronicle of travels in one of the most stunning and historically significant areas in Europe- one that remains, however, still largely to be discovered.

About the Author
Christopher Deliso is an American travel writer and journalist based in Skopje, Macedonia, who has been exploring and living in the Balkans and Mediterranean Europe for almost a decade. He has published numerous travel articles in newspapers, magazines and web sites around the world and also writes for Lonely Planet on the Balkans and Greece. He also directs the Balkan-interest online magazine. He holds an MPhil with Honours in Byzantine Studies from Oxford University.

Christopher Deliso

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars A Splendid Little Journey, August 6, 2007
By Jason B. Miko (Tucson, AZ USA) - See all my reviews
While many vacationers are jetting off to the likes of London, Paris or the Caribbean, Chris Deliso opens the window on a small, relatively undiscovered part of Europe, and reveals a delightful region of beauty, charm, culture, history and warmth. The lake region of Macedonia, which includes the enchanting lakes of Ohrid and Prespa, is made available to us through this brief travelogue in which Deliso travels with both companions and his family, stopping in little out-of-the-way villages and hamlets in Greece, Albania and Macedonia. Written in an easy, almost laidback style, Deliso throws in archeology, history, art, flora, fauna, geography, gastronomy, culture and a host of other subjects as he takes his readers on bumpy roads and across the placid lakes, spending time with the hospitable and warm folks who live there. Before you're halfway through the book, you might find yourself booking a trip to Macedonia to discover for yourself a unique and unspoiled part of Europe still unknown to most Westerners.

5.0 out of 5 stars A Hidden Jewel, August 28, 2007
By Sonja B (Sydney, Australia) - See all my reviews
It was such a pleasant surprise to discover that someone was bold enough to write about the ineffable beauty and spirit that is Macedonia, and particularly its lakes - and succeed in it. As soon as I received my copy of Deliso's Hidden Macedonia, I wasted no time getting into it, and found that I couldn't stop reading it until I finished it. Poetic, vivid, anecdotal and factual - truly a book I recommend to anyone who dares risk or cares to know or is curious, inclined for whatever reason, to ponder (and wonder) over a bit of land in Europe deeply steeped in history, and so naturally almost forgotten - hidden - but for Deliso's careful archaeological, historical eye for things mystical. Deliso's circular journey through three countries in the name of two lakes, Ohrid and Prespa, is one you won't forget. I'll go as far as saying that you should judge this book by its cover.

5.0 out of 5 stars Macedonia as a Metaphor, August 12, 2007
The author, Chris Deliso, has an MPhil with Honours in Byzantine Studies from Oxford University and his credentials shine throughout the book. His erudition, depth, narration skills, and exquisite (at times, painful) sensitivity to both human and nature give rise to a resonant, synoptic, panoramic, and thrilling travelogue. Chris, an American who made Macedonia his new home, and a family friend by the name of George, a Greek philosopher, are later joined by Chris's Macedonian wife, Buba, and their son, Marko. Together, they reify the Balkans: foreign influences, internecine rivalries, the resilience and warmth of its denizens, and the brighter future that hopefully awaits them all. Their lakes are the only things that the otherwise fractious Macedonia, Greece, and Albania share. The two and then the four tour the shores of these fabled bodies of water and get immersed in their history, archeology, politics, economy, and peoples. Edge-of-the seat situations lifted straight out of Expressionistic horror movies (the unforgettable foray to the Macedonian settlements on the Albanian side of Lake Prespa) alternate with sun and shimmering water and numerous heart-rending human interest stories as various cameo-protagonists struggle to maintain a modicum of human dignity in the face of the overwhelming odds of both gory history and destitution. Chris studies them all with subtlety and with a curious mix of scientific detachment and empathetic compassion. He is a genuine lover of humanity. His sometimes cynical observations are a mere defense mechanism against the pain and hopelessness that pervade this hitherto doomed region that he so clearly is enamoured with. Thus, Hidden Macedonia combines Dame Rebecca West's penetrating (but rarely merciless) insight with Robert Kaplan's narrative excellence. It joins this rarefied bookshelf as an equal. A must for anyone interested not only in the Balkans and in conflict and peace studies- but in what it is that makes us human and forms our personal identity. Sam Vaknin,

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