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The Cellist of Sarajevo

by Steven Galloway

During the siege of Sarajevo in the 1990s, 22 people are killed by a shell as they queue for bread. For the next 22 days, at the same hour, the cellist leaves the relative safety of his apartment and sits on the street to play Albinoni's Adagio in memory of his dead neighbours.
This heart-breaking and powerful story vividly portrays the terrible consequences of civil war on ordinary people. It made me cry.

Extract

As the door to the apartment closes behind him he presses his back to it and slides to the ground. His legs are heavy, his hands cold. He doesn't want to go. What he wants is to go back inside, crawl into bed and sleep until this war is over. He wants to take his younger daughter to a carnival. He wants to sit up, anxious, waiting for his older daughter to return from a movie with a boy he doesn't really like.

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