Café Europa Revisited: How to Survive Post-Communism has just been recommended by The New Yorker, in the Briefly Noted section. It was published in the print edition of the February 1, 2021.
Café Europa Revisited, by Slavenka Drakulić (Penguin). Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall seemed to promise a more open and affluent Europe, the chasm between East and West persists. In these essays, Drakulić crisscrosses the continent, vividly rendering its changing politics. Lives in the East are still shadowed by the Communist past: Slovakians discover that they are being sold fish sticks that contain less fish than ones of the same brand in Austria; Croatians spend years navigating a moribund property-registry system. Amid a surge of nativist politics and anti-immigrant sentiment, Drakulić’s composite portrait provides a clear-eyed look at European values, and what they really amount to.