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Original Essays | September 18, 2014

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The Book of My Lives

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The Book of My Lives Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Please note that used books may not include additional media (study guides, CDs, DVDs, solutions manuals, etc.) as described in the publisher comments.

Publisher Comments:

The first nonfiction book — searing, revealing, unforgettable — from one of our most acclaimed writers.

Aleksandar Hemon's lives begin in Sarajevo, a small, blissful city where a young boy's life is consumed with street soccer with his casually multiethnic group of friends, 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 Chicago: watching war break out in Sarajevo and the city come under siege, with no way to return home; the Hemon's 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. Like Hemon's fiction, The Book of My Lives 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 passion 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 youve 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.

Review:

“Aleksandar Hemon is, quite frankly, the greatest writer of our generation. His literature is deep, agile, funny, graceful, searing, angry, raw, questioning. The Book of My Lives is worth it simply for the dedication: ‘For Isabel, forever breathing on my chest. He writes it, and so she breathes on ours too. Such is the function of storytelling: to get to the essence of that which might eventually break our hearts. This is a book — like all of Aleksandar Hemon's books — that is an aria for our times. I will cherish it.” Colum McCann

Review:

“Incandescent. When your eyes close, the power of Aleksandar Hemon's colossal talent remains.” Junot Díaz

Review:

“Aleksandar Hemon's work crackles with so much humor and irony, so much compassion and humanity, that The Book of My Lives's true calling almost goes by unnoticed: it is, without doubt, the most necessary, intimate, and heartbreaking portrait of a world lost to one of history's darkest conflicts.” Téa Obreht

Review:

“I'm not quite sure Aleksandar Hemon counts as an American writer, but he is one of my favorite American writers. Before The Book of My Lives, I never really thought of him as a nonfiction person, but this new book — a memoir in essays — has some of his best writing. When Hemon's work is funny, it can make you laugh in spite of everything, and when it is sad, its hard to stand up afterward.” John Jeremiah Sullivan

Review:

The Book of My Lives is written with the full force of humanity. It will make you think, laugh, cry, and remember yourself.  If you've never read Aleksandar Hemon, prepare to have your worldview deepened.” Jonathan Safran Foer

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.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374115739
Author:
Hemon, Aleksandar
Publisher:
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Biography-Literary
Publication Date:
20130319
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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The Book of My Lives Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$13.00 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Farrar, Straus and Giroux - English 9780374115739 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Aleksandar Hemon is, quite frankly, the greatest writer of our generation. His literature is deep, agile, funny, graceful, searing, angry, raw, questioning. The Book of My Lives is worth it simply for the dedication: ‘For Isabel, forever breathing on my chest. He writes it, and so she breathes on ours too. Such is the function of storytelling: to get to the essence of that which might eventually break our hearts. This is a book — like all of Aleksandar Hemon's books — that is an aria for our times. I will cherish it.”
"Review" by , “Incandescent. When your eyes close, the power of Aleksandar Hemon's colossal talent remains.”
"Review" by , “Aleksandar Hemon's work crackles with so much humor and irony, so much compassion and humanity, that The Book of My Lives's true calling almost goes by unnoticed: it is, without doubt, the most necessary, intimate, and heartbreaking portrait of a world lost to one of history's darkest conflicts.”
"Review" by , “I'm not quite sure Aleksandar Hemon counts as an American writer, but he is one of my favorite American writers. Before The Book of My Lives, I never really thought of him as a nonfiction person, but this new book — a memoir in essays — has some of his best writing. When Hemon's work is funny, it can make you laugh in spite of everything, and when it is sad, its hard to stand up afterward.”
"Review" by , The Book of My Lives is written with the full force of humanity. It will make you think, laugh, cry, and remember yourself.  If you've never read Aleksandar Hemon, prepare to have your worldview deepened.”
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