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Terminal Junction Hardcover – March 1, 2001
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About the Author
Steven Dushan Milakov, 59, is the Corporate Communications Director for Caltex in the Republic of Singapore where he resides with his wife, Jeanie. He has been a teacher, magazine journalist, public relations executive, and color commentator for ESPN-Asia. He has a BA in journalism from Cal State Los Angeles, and an MA in Communications Management from the Annenberg School of Communications, University of Southern California.
Mr. Milakov was the co-developer of Singapore's first successful mass communications educational program at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. He has also lectured in Australia and the US.
His son, Tim, 24, has been recently selected to the US Army OCS program following his graduation from the University of New Orleans. His daughter, Stacey Anne, 29, is a teacher's aid in preparation for a grade school teaching career in Southern California.
"Terminal Junction" is his first book on ethnic Serbs and the Heartland region.
Top customer reviews
While his early experiences may provide the ground bass of the theme, Milakov uses them only to introduce us to a community of sharply sketched characters, not least his father, an Orthodox priest, assorted in their attitudes and often conflicting in their beliefs, but sharing a graciousness, generosity and courage. But what gives this book its true uniqueness is Milakov's delight in picking up an incident and darting off into a fictional short story that provides a new perspective or a dramatic illustration, clarifying the complexities of the community. It's as if he had brought one of his beloved Rock Island Line trains to a sudden halt in order to drift through a flower meadow or wonder at a particular rock formation.
Yet these diversions - these variations - far from holding up the narrative or damaging its shape, add further colour to a book written in a rich autumnal style, with glitters of wintry ice and glimpses of spring bright whites and yellows. There is joy here as well as hints of sadness, leavened with touches of irony.
The coda, the final 20 or so pages, is a swirling kaleidoscope of ideas and insights, as Milakov contrasts the people he knew as a child with the new generation of Balkan immigrants, noting the changes in a culture that is yet recognizably the same. He is certainly no apologist for the Serbian leadership of Milosevic; but he points movingly to the suffering of ordinary Serbs displaced by the wars among the states of the former Yugoslavia.
Terminal Junction tackles many questions - social, cultural, religious - and poses more. Coupled to its thoughtfulness, warmth and humour, overlaying a deep sigh for the passing of those giant locomotives that plied through both Milakov's childhood and his neighbourhood, this a book which rewards the reader on several levels. I have many levels to go yet.