Set in 1968, Once Upon a Yugoslavia is, paradoxically, most timely. Global economic crises have compelled people to question excessive consumption and redefine success and the good life while embracing new lifestyle priorities⎯just as Yugoslavia required of Surya Green decades ago.


“An important testament. I have not before read an account of the former Yugoslavia made so plain.” —John Grierson, pioneering documentary filmmaker

TRAVEL WRITING | November 17, 2015 | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 | 336 pages | Trade paper | $17.95 | 9780990004349 | eBook available | World


“Pensive, engrossing … The author’s sensitive, searching prose makes it feel as though readers are eavesdropping on her thoughts, making every page highly personal and captivating…. An impressive portrait of a country in a tumultuous time but also of a young woman in an equally tumultuous time, eventually heading home with eyes open to the absolute need for equality for women, other races, and for the poor and disadvantaged.” Booklist (starred review)

“Surya Green’s fascinating book narrates two journeys undertaken simultaneously... . It is often said that travel broadens the mind. In Green’s case, immersion in Tito’s Yugoslavia served to deepen as well as broaden her knowledge of herself, and the social orders of both Yugoslavia and her American homeland.” —Henry Breitrose, Stanford University



It is 1968. Across America, citizens march for social reform and an end to the Vietnam War. Amid all this, Surya Green⎯a New York-born, self-absorbed, modern young woman⎯is a student at Stanford University, blithely pursuing a graduate degree in communication. Her view of life's purpose unexpectedly starts to expand when she says "Yes" when her Stanford film mentor selects her for a writing job at Zagreb Film in Yugoslavia. Family and friends marvel at her courage, or foolishness. The Zagreb studio may be the renowned producer of the first non-American animated film to win an Oscar, but it is in a country most Americans fear and reject as "communist."
Green has no idea that her stay in Yugoslavia will ultimately take her beyond national borders to the outermost limits of her mind.




Surya Green, who grew up in New York City and received degrees from Stanford University (MA in communications) and Barnard College (BA in American studies) is the author of The Call of the Sun: A Woman's Journey to the Heart of Wisdom (Element Books Ltd., UK, 1997). She has published magazine articles and has led gatherings, given workshops, and spoken on transformational themes in the Netherlands, USA, UK, and India. A member of the Dutch Association of Journalists and the International Federation of Journalists, she has also worked as a professional actress and singer. She lives in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, where she established the nonprofit foundation www.SunConscious.org in 2000.