Synopses & Reviews
A new book of linked stories by the author of the National Book Award finalist The Lazarus Project.
Aleksandar Hemon earned his reputation- and his MacArthur genius grant-for his short stories, and he returns to the form with a powerful collection of linked stories that stands with The Lazarus Project as the best work of his celebrated career. A few of the stories have never been published before; the others have appeared in The New Yorker, and several of those have also been included in The Best American Short Stories. All are infused with the dazzling, astonishingly creative prose and the remarkable, haunting autobiographical elements that have distinguished Hemon as one of the most original and illustrious voices of our time.
What links the stories in Love and Obstacles is the narrator, a young man who-like Hemon himself-was raised in Yugoslavia and immigrated to the United States. The stories of Love and Obstacles are about that coming of age and the complications-the obstacles-of growing up in a Communist but cosmopolitan country, and the disintegration of that country and the consequent uprooting and move to America in young adulthood. But because it's Aleksandar Hemon, the stories extend far beyond the immigrant experience; each one is punctuated with unexpected humor and spins out in fabulist, exhilarating directions, ultimately building to an insightful, often heartbreaking conclusion. Woven together, these stories comprise a book that is, genuinely, as cohesive and powerful as any fiction- achingly human, charming, and inviting.
Praise for Love and Obstacles
A New York Times Notable Book
"You may feel nearly giddy with pleasure at how beautifully written, funny, and entertaining [these stories] are, and at the depths of tenderness and seriousness swirling beneath their wry, deceptively offhand surface." -- Francine Prose, O, the Oprah Magazine
"Marvelous and original... Hemon writes with a peculiar grace, somehow both reckless and unflinching, both troublingly absurd and absolutely precise." -- The Boston Globe
"The stories are scarred elegies, quickened with poetry, anger, violence, wistful love, and, throughout, Hemon's extraordinary lyric freedom." -- San Francisco Chronicle
"Reviewers find it difficult to resist comparing Aleksandar Hemon to Nabokov, since both men [have a] preternatural facility in their second, acquired language." -- The Washington Post
From the celebrated author of the bestselling Lazarus Project "a dazzling collection of stories ... further cementing [Hemon's] position among the finest fiction writers working in English" (GQ).
The stories of Aleksandar Hemon's Love and Obstacles are united by their narrator, a young man coming of age in Communist-but-cosmopolitan Sarajevo who will leave for the United States just as his city is torn asunder. In Hemon's hands, seemingly mundane childhood experiences become daring, dramatic adventures, while unique and wrenching circumstances become a common ground that involves us all. As cohesive and impressive as any novel, the short story collection Love and Obstacles stands with the National Book Award finalist The Lazarus Project as the best work of this MacArthur Genius Award winner's career.
From the author of The Book of My Lives.
Hemon earned his reputation--and his MacArthur "genius grant"--for his short stories, and he returns to the form with a powerful collection of linked stories that stands with "The Lazarus Project" as the best work of his celebrated career.
About the Author
Aleksandar Hemon���is the author of���The���Lazarus Project,���Love and Obstacles,���The Question of Bruno,���Nowhere Man���and���The Book of My���Lives. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Genius Award, the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the PEN/W. G. Sebald Award, and, most recently, a 2012 USA Fellowship. He lives in Chicago.