Hailed as among the most important books of the twentieth century, Rebecca West’s magnum opus is a history, a travelogue, and a sociological study of Yugoslavia that examines how the past shapes the present
In a breathtakingly wide-ranging journalistic work, West richly chronicles her travels throughout Yugoslavia in the 1930s, introducing vivid characters and illuminating details. More than a travelogue, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon connects the people and places West encounters to the long history of conflict that has formed national identities in the Balkans across a millennium of shifting alliances. West writes, “I had come to Yugoslavia because I knew that the past has made the present, and I wanted to see how the process works.” As profound, sad, and funny as when it was first published in 1941, Black Lamb and Grey Falcon interrogates the forces that continue to shape our modern world.
“Required reading for anyone wishing to understand the Balkans.” —Francine Prose, Tin House “One of the most gifted and searching of modern English novelists and critics has produced not only the magnification and intensification of the travel book form, but, one may say, its apotheosis." —The New York Times Dame Rebecca West (1892–1983) is one of the most critically acclaimed English novelists, journalists, and literary critics of the twentieth century. Uniquely wide-ranging in subject matter and breathtakingly intelligent in her ability to take on the oldest and knottiest problems of human relations, West was a thoroughly entertaining public intellectual. In her eleven novels, beginning with The Return of the Soldier, she explored topics including feminism, socialism, love, betrayal, and identity. West’s prolific journalistic works include her coverage of the Nuremberg trials for the New Yorker, published as A Train of Powder, and Black Lamb and Grey Falcon, her epic study of Yugoslavia. She had a son with H.G. Wells, and later married banker Henry Maxwell Andrews, continuing to write, and publish, until she died in London at age ninety.