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The Book Of My Lives (2013)

by Aleksandar Hemon(Favorite Author)
4.09 of 5 Votes: 5
0374115737 (ISBN13: 9780374115739)
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
review 1: It has all the ingredients you would expect from a Bosnian-American author: childhood stories depicting gorgeous Sarajevo, the siege that could not possibly be understood and the life of a successful emigre. Rich in language, distant and boyish when describing his life in Europe. Commendable lack of self-pity when in the U.S. Great read, but don't let yourself get too comfortable towards the end of the book (as I did too easily).
review 2: This collection of personal essays creating an ad hoc memoir was an emotionally searing read. Hemon is an amazingly insightful writer - both from an observational as well as an emotional perspective. In his first series of essays we get a palpable sense of Sarajevo, almost a love letter to a city. Not that all is wonderful, b
... moreut even the warts are viewed from a realistic but loving perspective. As a Chicagoan, I devoured the next set of essays with recognition and awe. Hemon can be added to the pantheon of Chicago writers who depict the city with a clear vision and a loving lens. Edgewater, Rogers Park and their "characters" come alive in his writing. "Reasons Why I Do Not Wish to Leave Chicago: An Incomplete Random List" is a paean to our city of big shoulders. The olfactory observations of his studio apartment above a landlord with multiple pets and other issues was worth the price of admissions. The devastation and clarity of vision of the final essay "The Aquarium" will stay with me for a very long time. less
Reviews (see all)
Fleeting remembrances of his life, obviously the last story, Aquarium, is the saddest of all things.
Brilliant memoir of the American experience - and to think he came to America on a USIA program.
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