The Book of My Lives

By Aleksandar Hemon
(Farrar Straus Giroux, Hardcover, 9780374115739, 214pp.)

Publication Date: March 19, 2013

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Description

Aleksandar Hemon's lives begin in Sarajevo, a small, blissful city where a young boy's life is consumed with street soccer with the neighborhood kids, resentment of his younger sister, and trips abroad with his engineer-cum-beekeeper father. Here, a young man's life is about poking at the pretensions of the city's elders with American music, bad poetry, and slightly better journalism. And then, his life in Chicago: watching from afar as war breaks out in Sarajevo and the city comes under siege, no way to return home; his parents and sister fleeing Sarajevo with the family dog, leaving behind all else they had ever known; and Hemon himself starting a new life, his own family, in this new city.


And yet this is not really a memoir. "The Book""of My Lives," Hemon's first book of nonfiction, defies convention and expectation. It is a love song to two different cities; it is a heartbreaking paean to the bonds of family; it is a stirring exhortation to go out and play soccer--and not for the exercise. It is a book driven by passions but built on fierce intelligence, devastating experience, and sharp insight. And like the best narratives, it is a book that will leave you a different reader--a different person, with a new way of looking at the world--when you've finished. For fans of Hemon's fiction, "The Book of My Lives "is simply indispensable; for the uninitiated, it is the perfect introduction to one of the great writers of our time.
A "Kirkus Reviews "Best Nonfiction Book of 2013.




About the Author
Aleksandar Hemon is the author of "The Lazarus Project, "which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and three books of short stories: "The Question of Bruno"; "Nowhere Man", which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and "Love and Obstacles". He was the recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship and a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation. He lives in Chicago.


NPR
Saturday, Mar 16, 2013

Celebrated novelist Aleksandar Hemon's first nonfiction book is a memoir of his early life in Sarajevo, his flight and acclimation to Chicago after the Bosnian War broke out, and the family tragedy that hit years after he made his new home in the U.S. More at NPR.org

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