Published : Saturday, May 26, 2018 | 11:28 PM
Carrie Arcos, Maranatha High School’s Performing Arts and English faculty member, has recently released her fourth published book entitled, “We Are All That’s Left”.
Released on May 15 and already picked as a 2018 “Most Anticipated Read” by iBooks, “We Are All That’s Left” is about the lives of Zara and her mother Nadja, and is described by Carrie as “One deeply compelling story set in both Bosnia and the United States, spanning decades and generations, about the brutality of war and the trauma of everyday life after war, and about hope and the ties that bind us together.”
In a recent interview with Publishers Weekly, Carrie talked about working with Bosnian refugees in America, her trip to Bosnia, as well as the creative process and research it took to writing “We Are All That’s Left”. Carrie recalled, “In the fall of 1995 until the fall of 1996, I was with AmeriCorps…There were immigrants from all over, but at the time we had a large influx of Bosnians. Working with the Bosnians had a huge effect on me. I’d heard about the Bosnian conflict but I hadn’t known about the genocide. When I started meeting the families and hearing their stories, I just couldn’t believe it.”
Years later, Carrie would start her research for “We Are All That’s Left” by watching movies and reading books, especially journalist accounts and first-person accounts, and even taking a trip to Bosnia. Carrie continued, “While I was in Bosnia, I did notice that there was still some tension there, like there had been a Band-Aid put over the war. There was a man who was tried and convicted for a war crime, and it was like one side of the street was happy he was convicted and the other side was defending him. There’s still some segregation present there, too. Muslims, Croats, and Russian Orthodox students go to school at different times, and there are three presidents representing the three ethnic and religious groups. It was supposed to be a short-term solution after the war, but the model is still being used today.”
Carrie felt she was taking a risk when writing “We Are All That’s Left” because it’s historic and she wanted to get it right. She considers the book to be a “love letter” to those she met briefly and wanted to honor. As for her readers, Carrie hopes that those who read “We Are All That’s Left” take away a greater empathy and more openness for people outside their experience.
If you are interested in reading “We Are All That’s Left” you can preorder a copy on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or wherever books are sold.
Maranatha High School, 169 S. St. John Avenue, Pasadena, (626) 817-4000 or visit www.maranatha-hs.org.