Jasmina Kozina Praprotnik

The Long Running Life of Helena Zigon

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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.
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237 printed pages
Original publication
2017

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