At age eleven, Kenan Trebincevic was a happy, karate-loving kid living with his family in the quiet Eastern European town of Brcko. Then, in the spring of 1992, war broke out and his friends, neighbors and teammates all turned on him. Pero - Kenan's beloved karate coach - showed up at his door with an AK-47 - screaming: "You have one hour to leave or be killed!" His only crime: he was Muslim. In his new book “The Bosnia List: A Memoir of War, Exile, and Return” Trebincevic tells the story of his miraculous escape from the brutal ethnic cleansing campaign that swept the former Yugoslavia, and of his return. After two decades in the United States, Trebincevic honors his father’s wish to visit their homeland. And he makes a list of what he wants to do there. He decides to confront the former next door neighbor who stole from his mother, see the concentration camp where his dad and brother were imprisoned and stand on the grave of his first betrayer to make sure he’s really dead. Back in the land of his birth, Trebincevic finds something more powerful—and shocking—than revenge.
Kenan Trebincevic will make two appearances as a part of the Utah Humanities Council Book Festival. He’ll discuss “The Bosnia List” and his experiences as a refugee on Friday, October 3 at 7:00 p.m. at Salt Lake City Public Library, Auditorium, 210 East 400 South. And on Saturday, October 4 at 3:00 p.m. he’ll take part in a panel discussion, presented by the Bosnian American Professionals Association and the Utah Humanities Council, on authors as refugees and refugees as authors. That event is at the Salt Lake City Public Library, Conference Rooms B & C, 210 East 400 South.