The Book of My Lives

Aleksandar Hemon

27 February 2014
224 pages


Aleksandar Hemon grew up in a blissful Sarajevo, where his childhood was consumed by football, his adolescence by friends, movies and girls and where, as a young man, he poked at the pretensions of his beloved city with American music, bad poetry, and slightly better journalism.

And then at twenty-seven Hemon flew to Chicago for a month-long visit. A matter of weeks later Sarajevo was engulfed in an atrocious war and Hemon found himself an exile – he wouldn’t return home for five years, and when he did, he found his city irrevocably changed.

‘Aleksandar Hemon is, quite frankly, the greatest writer of our generation. His literature is deep, agile, funny, graceful, searing, angry, raw, questioning. It is of present and eternal use . . . This is a book – like all of Aleksandar Hemon’s books – that is an aria for our times. I will cherish it.’

Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin

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, author of Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

‘Hemon’s work crackles with so much humor and irony, so much compassion and humanity, that The Book of My Lives’ 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, author of The Tiger’s Wife