First edition issued in November 1991.
The thirtieth legal edition in sale


     ANA MARIA DIDN'T LOVE ME  is a sincere, deeply moving and true story of a little girl called Iva who is growing up lacerated between two families – her father’s and her mother’s, between two worlds – Croatian and Serbian, between two religions – catholic and orthodox.
     Iva decided to go for this bitter self confession to get the venom out of herself, in order to survive. She has to be trusted, even when she is speaking about the most fearful and incredible. For children remember the truth. Children sense injustice best.
     ANA MARIA DIDN'T LOVE ME is a story about about the abysses of inhumanity and nonsense in which a human is hurled by hate of the ones who are different, about the abuse of God and man’s need to believe, for doing everything that is opposite to any of the ten commandment.
     ANA MARIA DIDN'T LOVE ME  is a reminder, and at the same time,  a book of proofs that only love can save us.







     Golden bestseller, recognition by Radio Television of Serbia and daily paper Novosti, for one of the ten best selling books in 1998.


     It  took enormous strength to write this bitter self-confession. Having talent not to step into the pathos. Introducing Iva as a narrator, author reaches maximum of assurance. Children do not know how to lie. Children feel injustice the best...

                                                                             (Nada Bojic)

     Through a minimalist narration, the author describes in an  amazing way the difficulties and disagreements between the two countries.

(Library „Dialogues“ in Brest, France)

     In this novel, brilliantly written, alternate with tenderness and bitterness ...

(L Opinion indépendante du Sul, Toulouse, France)

     Provocative novel, politically incorrect, but still had a great success in Serbia ... which proves that there are still people who think freely.

                                                                             (Marie Louise Bernaskoni "Reforme", France)

     This fascinating novel leaves a strong, misleading impression of a vivid depiction of non-traditional families in any other civilization.

                                                                                     ("Notes bibliografiques“, Paris, France)


To the memory of my mother,
Radmila Habjanovic, born Burzan
and my grandmother
Jelena Burzan, born Sharanovic
                                                                           for love
                                                                          with love  

     Ana Maria did not love me.
     That became clear to me long ago.
     I was sleeping on the daybed placed perpendicular to the foot of my parents' conjugal bed, in the "big room". My uncles shared the "small room" and Granny Marica slept in the kitchen. I was wakened by sobbing and the warmth of a body pressed tightly next to mine, unpleasantly so. I was held in a feverish, tight, almost painfully possessive embrace. I stirred and opened my eyes, frightened. Then I sat up (it must have been the suddenness of it that wrenched me from that embrace).
     "Here I am, honey".
     Mother was lying next to me.
     That sobbing, that grip, that body - they were hers, then. Strange. Everything, the entire situation was a complete mystery to me.
     My mother's hugs are always tender, ample, consoling, encouraging, and lightly, pleasantly warm.
     My mother never sleeps on my daybed because, as she likes to say, "a wife's place is next to her husband". And when Papa is on overnight duty at the Yugoslav Army Club, she opens up both sides of their double bed and sleeps stretched out crosswise. She explains this by quoting from a book she read, something that she liked so much she adopted it entirely as her own: "There is nothing worse than waking up in the middle of the night and finding the other half of the bed is empty."
     That is the mother I know. But what is this now?
     - What is going on, Mom?
     The mother did not reply.
     Through a wide window entered  very strong street light. (My mother, apparently, forgot to lower the "blinds" – navy blue  hand-pasted paper on the roll of a wave-card). The room was only half-alighted, so I could see everything clearly. A large double bed was not prepared to sleep - as furnished for the day,  neatly vestured with dark green plush blankets. Even the silk cushions were carefully deployed. (Roses on pillows embroidered with red and yellow silk, foliage with dark green silk, all on the white basis.) The mother was laying  shriveled, like a huge crying  fetus  completely wrapped in a gown of flannel. (Night gown was pink, with blue and red flowers, to button up to throat, with "baby" small colar bordered with narrow lace. Now I know - it was a night equipment of a practical housewife, loyal wife and caring mother, not of a mistress.)
     I've watched on the mother with a consternation. Her eyes were squeezed tightly, lips and breasts are shivering,  shoulders are shaking. Occasionally, she widely opened her  mouths, only to take the air, and then I heard a long streched  sob, as if choking. Horrible.
     My mother cries in front of me only when watching a very sad movie, "Gone with the Wind" or "Mother, listen to my song“  for example, when reading particularly inspired  touching places in the novels (especially touched with a tragic end of Anna Karenina) or when listening a „sentimental balades“ on the radio she is following a performer, non musically, but absolutely accustomed to expressed or only anticipated feelings. I remember, for example, her tears with the song "Only one day of life."
     And now this?
     - Why are you crying, Mom? - I asked her, almost weeping by myself.
     - Why? Can`t you hear the train whistle? Dad went to Zagreb! - She has managed somehow to pull out the words from the sobs.
     My confusion and fear are dangerously close to the edge of hysteria. Because I have not heard the train. I have heard nothing , except for an aunt Rada`s and uncle Karlo`s dog, who has been,,  barking to the Moon with longing, night after night. And, besides, dad used to went to Zagreb before, we remained at home, and mother never cried. Or at least,  I have not seen her crying. What's extraordinary  this time?
     - Dad went to Zagreb and will never return!  Ana Maria took him!
     Ana Maria! My parents have mentioned her  only when they believed they are all alone, and even then, rarely. Several times I have, driven by curiosity, intrigued by unusual sound and part of that strange and foreign name (no one I knew  was not even called  so) tried to tap, convinced that there is a big secret, in greate desire to penetrate to its depth. But I was able to understand very little: Ana Maria is a woman that my dad likes, admires her, even worship, my Mom doesn`t like her and is affraid  of what Ana Maria can do. Or,  what my dad can do for her. Thus, over time,  Ana Maria became a symbol of the threat and uncerainty for me.
     Ana Maria - I thought, distressed and outraged. Ana Maria does not like me, when she took my dad away.
     - I hate Ana-Maria! Hate! - I cried.
     - Oh, my poor little one! Me, too!
     Mother pulled me to lie down and she almost covered me with her body  (Same did grandmother Draga`s cat,  defending her`s  small cubs, when I wanted to take one). The whole night I felt the protective softness of the mother's chest and broad lap, and listened to her  wet and abrupt whispers.
     The words and meaning I didn`t understand, and it didn`t matter, -  the mother was probably pronouncing  what I felt the strongest: two of us were abandoned, left behind, and, as of now,  cruelly alone.
     I could not sleep, as a locomotives constantly ran through my room, with deafening shrieks, an opaque steam has been piling up, fogy cold and heavy, and trains with bright-lit windows were roaring. Behind each window of each wagon stood my dad, smiling and waving  to me. All trains rushed to Zagreb. All trains were driven by Ana Maria.