Girl at War by Sara Novic

Girl at War

May 2015

Sara Novic

Brutal, beautiful, and completely unforgettable, Girl at War is Little, Brown’s lead debut launch for 2015. This story of coming-of-age in the shadow of the still-fresh Croat-Bosniak war is set be the most powerful debut you’ll read all year.


Growing up in Zagreb in the summer of 1991, 10-year-old Ana Juric is a carefree tomboy; she runs the streets with her best friend, Luka, helps take care of her baby sister, Rahela, and idolizes her father. But when civil war breaks out across Yugoslavia, football games and school lessons are supplanted by sniper fire and air raid drills.  

The brutal ethnic cleansing of Croats and Bosnians tragically changes Ana's life, and she is lost to a world of genocide and child soldiers; a daring escape plan to America becomes her only chance for survival. Ten years later she returns to Croatia, a young woman struggling to belong to either country, forced to confront the trauma of her past and rediscover the place that was once her home.

About the author

Sara Novic was born in 1987 and has lived in the United States and Croatia. She recently graduated from the MFA program at Columbia University, where she studied fiction and translation. She is the fiction editor at Blunderbuss Magazine, and teaches writing at the Fashion Institute of Technology. She lives in Queens, New York.

Read if you liked

Half of a Yellow Sun; Burial Rites