A Finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award
Aleksandar Hemon's lives begin in Sarajevo, where boyhood is consumed by street soccer and sibling rivalry, and a young man's life is about American music, bad poetry, and slightly better journalism. At the age of twenty-seven, Hemon journeyed to Chicagoa trip that would mark the beginning of another life, this time in the United States. There, he watched from afar as war broke out in Bosnia, his parents and sister fleeing, and Hemon himself unable to return.
Yet this, his first book of nonfiction, is much more than a memoir of these experiences. At once a love song to two cities and a paean to the bonds of family, The Book of My Lives is a singular work of passion, built on fierce intelligence, unspeakable tragedies, and sharp insight. Like the best narratives, it is a book that will leave you a different reader when you finishand a different person, with a new way of looking at the world.
|Publisher:||Farrar, Straus and Giroux|
|Product dimensions:||5.88(w) x 8.34(h) x 0.85(d)|
About the Author
Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, The Lazarus Project, and Love and Obstacles. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the PEN/W. G. Sebald Award, and, most recently, a 2012 USA Fellowship. He lives in Chicago.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
One of the finest writers in our country today, Aleksandar Hemon gives voice to the many, many immigrants who have put down roots here because war has destroyed their familiar and cherished homelands. Intellectually curious, a passionate observer, Hemon writes sentences that would make any poet envious. In The Question of Bruno, Hemon introduces readers to the demagoguery of the post-Tito devolution of his country. (Every time I hear political vitriol, I can't help but think how such talk tore his former homeland apart.) The Book of My Lives captures life in the now-vanished Sarajevo, and a portrait of the young Hemon before he began writing in English. When war broke out, he found himself stranded in Chicago and began to construct a new life for himself. I particularly enjoyed the moment he recognized fellow Bosnians walking down the street, the solace he found on the soccer field, and his recounting of a doomed relationship. The final essay is one I read when it was first published, but it is no less emotionally powerful on second read. I can't imagine the fortitude it must have taken for Hemon to live in America and gradually realize he could not go home.
Looking for an answer. I enjoyed reading the compilation of essays of Hemon’s two lives, one in Sarajevo before war broke out in the 1990’s, the other in Chicago. His style of writing kept me engaged throughout the stories. This was my first book read by Hemon. I usually do not read other reviews until I finish a book, however, I glanced at the ten reviews posted on Amazon to see if I had read the paragraph written on page 21 correctly. No one has mentioned it, so it looks like I’m alone. Am I reading it incorrectly, or does Hemon say Obama is our president by way of a falsified birth certificate? I emailed the publisher and the editor and asked this question, but no reply as of yet. The internet provided additional information on Hemon, such as his becoming a U.S. citizen, but I’m hoping a comment will be written by a reviewer, a reader on my blogs, or Hemon himself answering my question.