Tells the remarkable life story of the late Yugoslav-born star of Babylon 5 and Lost
LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES, February 20, 2023 /EINPresswire.com/ — The memoir LOVE ME MORE THAN ANYTHING ELSE IN THE WORLD: Stories about belonging by the late Mira Furlan, the Yugoslav-born star of Babylon 5 and Lost, has been published for the first time in English. Already one of the bestselling books in 2022 in Croatia and Serbia, the autobiographical work tells the story of Furlan’s remarkable life and creatively acclaimed career—along with the poignant and terrifying account of how her principled stand against the ethnic carnage that tore Yugoslavia apart in 1991 led her to leave the country with her husband, the director Goran Gajic.
Before leaving, Furlan wrote “A letter to my co-citizens,” considered by many to be one of the most powerful anti-war essays of the last century and a historic document of the situation of an artist in a war. It was published in the newspapers on both warring sides of the conflict.
In that piece, Furlan wrote, “I know and I feel that it is my duty, the duty of our profession, to build bridges. To never give up on cooperation and community. Not the national community. The professional community. The human community. And even when things are at their very worst, as they are now, we must insist to our last breath on building and sustaining bonds between people. This is how we pledge to the future. And one day it will come.”
A fierce media campaign against her continued, leading to her being fired by the Croatian National Theatre. Her main “sin” was starring at the Belgrade International Theater Festival, where the antiwar production of “Theatrical Illusions” (Corneille) was chosen to be in the main competition of the festival. (She had been performing the play for a year prior to the outbreak of the war.)
Furlan begins her book with the history of her family in Yugoslavia, a country that no longer exists. Part Jewish, part Croatian, Furlan grew up never feeling the strong pull of ethnic nationalism that lurked beneath the surface of the communist society. Born in 1955 in Zagreb and recognized early on for her extraordinary talent, Furlan achieved fame as a star of film, TV, and the stage across all of Yugoslavia by the late seventies.
Furlan and Gajic emigrated to the United States, settling in New York City and starting a hard immigrant life. After a rough adjustment, Furlan was cast in Babylon 5, the cult science fiction television series. She later appeared in Lost and many other television shows and stage productions in Los Angeles.
Furlan explains that she conceived the book as a letter to her son, saying, “He is the one to whom I want to tell this story: the story of his parents and their tortured country, the story of a life that had been torn apart by uncontrollable forces, the story of a continual search for identity, purpose and direction in difficult circumstances, the story of emigrating to a foreign place, of lives being torn into pieces, of fragile nature of friendship and love, of heartbreaking losses, of new beginnings, of expectations and disappointments, of America through a lens of a foreigner, of a woman’s experience in the acting profession practiced on two continents, of the fleeting nature of fame.”
“Am I writing this book for you?” she goes on. “So that you can understand what came before you? So that you can get a glimpse into a distant, long-gone world that your parents came from? Do you even want to know about it? Do you need that heavy baggage, the baggage that your mother keeps dragging through her life, without ever finding a way of putting it down, if only for a second? Or am I writing it for an anonymous American reader who has barely heard of me, let alone the country of my birth? Am I writing it as a warning? Am I trying to say: ‘I told you so?’ And do I want to add (without daring to say it out loud): ‘… but you didn’t listen?’ Or am I writing it for myself, to myself? Why? Is it to “understand myself better” by trying to detect the hidden “story” in the scattered, illogical, messy narrative of my life?”
She then remarks, “And while I’ve been trying to answer these unanswerable questions, toiling over words in a language that is not mine (although I audaciously pretend it is), something very strange has happened: you have grown up. Not only that: America has become a different country, a country ominously similar to the place we once left in horror and despair. There is no doubt anymore that the forces that chased us out of our own homes have won a global victory. We fought those forces once. Now we feel tired. We are exhausted by repetition.”
And, strangely enough, this book is becoming a different book. It is no longer a book of memories of a distant place and a distant time. It is becoming something very different: a plea to America and the world.
The book is available at Amazon and at https://mirafurlan.net/order-miras-autobiography/
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