The Long Running Life of Helena Zigon
Založnik o knjigi
Prevod Bele dame v angleščino
Anthropologist Jasmina Praprotnik met Helena Zigon while running. Over the course of an icy Slovenian winter, the two marathon runners got together frequently, and Zigon told Praprotnik about her life. Here, Praprotnik tells Zigon’s captivating story in Zigon’s own voice. Each chapter is marked by a kilometer of the half-marathon Zigon ran along the Adriatic Sea on her eighty-sixth birthday, shortly after losing her husband of sixty years, Stane.
Zigon’s life spanned most of the twentieth century. She witnessed the Second World War, the rise and fall of Yugoslavia, and the founding of the new state of Slovenia. Abandoned by her parents and having grown up poor and mistreated by her stepmother, Zigon demonstrates the stoic resilience of a long-suffering Slavic woman. Though beset with challenges, she found a source of strength in the act of running. From a young girl running errands to an old woman running in the face of new grief, running has been a bright thread braided throughout her life. It has served her as a balm and a joy—one that she is grateful to still be able to savor. This inspirational memoir will appeal to general readers, especially those interested in history and running.
“Helena Zigon’s story has already captured the minds and hearts of readers in Slovenia and will assuredly do the same with English-language readers. The book is a testament to the beauty of Zigon as well as the powerful nature of humanistic writing.”
—Christine Worobec, author of Possessed: Women, Witches, and Demons in Imperial Russia (NIU Press, 2001)
“This original book combines a specialist’s story, written by someone who has made a career of inspiring people to run, with the biography of a remarkable woman, who ran her way through the twentieth century. It will be a delight for anyone interested in a life well-lived, as well as anyone with an interest, competitive or recreational, in running and what it can do not only for the body, but for the soul.”
—Noah Charney, author of The Art Thief
“Praprotnik’s narrative, crafted from interviews with the legendary Slovenian runner, uses each kilometer of the Istrian half-marathon as a chapter marker, weaving together the course of an amazing life with that of a grueling race. It is a compelling, inspirational, and humbling story.”
—Amy Nelson, author of Music for the Revolution: Musicians and Power in Early Soviet Russia
“To say that the story of Helena Zigon’s life is inspiring would be a vast understatement. As told to her fellow Slovenian runner Jasmina Kozina Praprotnik, a first-time author, Zigon achieves a rare feat, delivering a compelling tale of relentless perseverance without a hint of self-aggrandizement. Zigon’s demonstration of athletic prowess is all the more astonishing for having continued well into old age. ‘I am not so young anymore,’ the octogenarian marathoner says, with disarming candor. ‘I just have to make sure that I run with moderation and wisdom.’ As she does so, mile after exhausting mile, Zigon ruminates on her life’s highs and lows, among them her mother’s abandonment of a young Helena. ‘What would she have said if she had seen how fast I was, if she had seen me win?’ Zigon wonders wistfully. ‘Would she have been proud of me?’ Readers of The Long Running Life of Helene Zigon will doubtless identify with this remarkable woman’s yearnings.”
—Nick Madigan, correspondent for The New York Times
“This masterfully told story of marathon runner Helena Zigon is an authentic portrait of a woman who has found joy and peace in running—engrossing, insightful, and heartwarming.”
—Kate Padilla, contributor to Weavin’ chapbooks and Hers: A Poets Speak Anthology
“This is a luminous and inspiring account. Praprotnik’s book is full of wisdom about how running—in life’s toughest times—can be one’s salvation. I will feel Helena Zigon’s courageous spirit on my morning runs along the Slovenian coast.”
—Joji Sakurai, journalist published in Financial Times, New York Times, New Statesman, and Foreign Policy
Jasmina Kozina Praprotnik je magistrica znanosti iz antropologije in univerzitetna diplomirana kulturologinja. Posebej jo zanima kultura gibanja in njen vpliv na družbo. Prihaja iz Portoroža in živi v Ljubljani. Skupaj z možem vodita tekaško skupnost Urbani tekači. Je mati treh otrok. Med zadnjo nosečnostjo je štiri dni po predvidenem roku poroda pretekla polovičko Ljubljanskega maratona.
Nekaj slovenskih odmevov
To je vsa resnica o človeškem življenju: biti z ljudmi, ki jih imaš rad in ti ljubezen vračajo. In ta knjiga je sijajen zgled. Ja, Helena beži, ker nikoli ni imela obstanka, ker obstanek je zgolj v naročju, tega pa ni bilo. Imela je srečo s Stanetom, a obstanka ni imela. Vsa knjiga je knjiga o gibanju – o motoričnem nemiru par excellence. Od teka, plesa, planinstva, do kolesa, motorja, avta. Nič drugega ni, če ni tega gibanja.
– Branko Gradišnik, pisatelj in publicist
Roman Bela dama je enostavno najbolj dramatična maratonska polovička, po kateri boste kadarkoli stekli! Briljantna zgodba o teku, ki ga je napisalo izjemno življenje.
– Samo Rugelj, urednik in založnik
Ko berem knjige o drugih ljudeh, ne spoznavam le njihovih življenj, ampak tudi samega sebe skozi oči drugih. In včasih me kaka življenjska zgodba tako prevzame, da vidim celo v prihodnost. Ja, ko bom velik bom Helena Žigon.
– Urban Praprotnik, tekaški trener