Start reading The Book of My Lives on your Kindle in under a minute. Don't have a Kindle? Get your Kindle here or start reading now with a free Kindle Reading App.

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

 
 
 

Try it free

Sample the beginning of this book for free

Deliver to your Kindle or other device

The Book of My Lives
 
 

The Book of My Lives [Kindle Edition]

Aleksandar Hemon
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.19 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
You Save: £4.80 (53%)
* Unlike print books, digital books are subject to VAT.

Free Kindle Reading App Anybody can read Kindle books—even without a Kindle device—with the FREE Kindle app for smartphones, tablets and computers.

To get the free app, enter your e-mail address or mobile phone number.

Formats

Amazon Price New from Used from
Kindle Edition £4.19  
Hardcover £16.00  
Paperback £8.99  
Kindle Daily Deal
Kindle Daily Deal: Up to 70% off
Each day we unveil a new book deal at a specially discounted price--for that day only. Learn more about the Kindle Daily Deal or sign up for the Kindle Daily Deal Newsletter to receive free e-mail notifications about each day's deal.


Product Description

Review

‘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



'We find this . . . beautifully, horrible resolve in The Book of My Lives, the first collection of nonfiction by MacArthur "genius" grant-winning writer Aleksander Hemon.' Baltimore City Paper

'Hemon chronicles with defining intensity, rueful self-critique, and piquant humor indelible revelations personal, cultural, and political. He is passionate . . . writes with deft force, piercing observation, and commanding candor about the individual's place within life's web and the horrors and beauty of the human condition.' Booklist

'In happiness there is alienation, and in sadness there is humor. Combined with Hemon's mad storytelling skills, The Book of My Lives is a powerful collection.' Boswell Book Company

'Aleksander Hemon has been telling critically acclaimed stories for years . . . In his latest collection, The Book of My Lives, he tells his own stories . . . in such a way that it could take its place on the shelf of great Chicago literature . . . The universal truths found in his memoir feel all the more powerful for being grounded in his own, sometimes painfully real, life.' Chicago Tribune

'Hemon manages to write about his own younger days in a way that makes them both uniquely his own, but also universal . . . [Hemon] evokes a magical city of random gorgeous images and events . . . Hemon is engaging and interesting company, and the story of his life - or lives - is one worth telling.' Christian Science Monitor

'2013 Book Preview: The Most Anticipated Books of the Year':

'One of the happier recent phenomena in American publishing has been the popular success of exceptional essay collections . . . Bets are on Aleksander Hemon's wise and entrancing memoir-in-essays to be the next.' The Daily Beast



'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 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. 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.' Farrar Straus & Giroux

'The essays in The Book of My Lives are about the meaning of home. Spacious and full-hearted . . . the last chapters break ground where fiction has no place . . . Confessional yet honourably restrained, these pages promise to be unforgettable.' Mark Thompson, Independent

'The Book of My Lives is a memoir in connected essays, wrenching but often very funny and self deprecating too . . . In this book, loving, humorous accounts of family, friends and pets have the potential to expand our compassion towards the strangers who live among us.' Independent

'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, it's hard to stand up afterward.' John Jeremiah Sullivan (author of Pulphead)

'Incandescent. When your eyes close, the power of Hemon's colossal talent remains.' Junot Díaz (author of This is How You Lose Her)

'An acclaimed novelist - winner of a MacArthur Foundation genius grant and finalist for the National Book Award - returns with an affecting memoir about his youth in Sarajevo and his escape and adjustment to the West . . . The chapters, in fact, could in many ways stand alone. But their cumulative emotional power - accelerated by a wrenching final section about the grievous illness of his younger daughter - eventually all but overwhelms. Amuses, informs and inspires - then, finally, rips open the heart.' Kirkus

' If any contemporary writer has a chance to still be around long after we’re all gone, most would lay odds that it’s the Chicagoan-via-Bosnia Aleksandar Hemon, the one who wrote his first story in English in 1995, and who garners comparisons to Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov. If Hemon’s writings stir the soul . . . it’s his humanity that inspires. His recounting in The New Yorker last summer about the illness and death of his tenth-month-old daughter Isabel was one of the most terrifying and heartbreaking stories ever printed. He has a book of autobiographical essays coming out in 2013, entitled The Book of My Lives and he continues to edit the Best European Fiction series, now in its fourth rendering.

'A collection of 15 mostly previously published essays . . . the book has the feel of a patchwork memoir that focuses on defining and enlightening moments in the author's life rather than his existence as a whole . . . The author begins to reveal more of his feelings . . . thereby creating a true connection with his subject and audience . . . The book culminates with 'The Aquarium,' 28 heart-wrenching pages of powerful prose originally published in the New Yorker, about his infant daughter's battle with cancer that is nothing short of a tour de force; its terrible beauty demonstrates Hemon's transformation as a writer and a man.' Publishers Weekly

'It's at once unimaginable and unforgettable . . . With Hemon, says the writer Jonathan Lethem, 'above all and no matter the topic or register, it's the voice -- that glowering intelligence pulsing behind a truly glittering surface . . .' Time

'Aleksandar Hemon . . . is often praised for his inventive use of language . . . he can articulate what he likes with equal passion and precision . . . These events of his lives are by turns funny, intense, poignant and sad - in other words, great memoir material . . . Hemon is a virtuoso linguist, maker of gorgeous sentences and arguably the best writer to currently call Chicago home.' Time Out Chicago

'Literary badass Aleksandar Hemon . . . is known for biting irony, humor, and humanity in his novels and stories . . . The rawness of those elements also rings through his first book of nonfiction, The Book of My Lives.' Village Voice

A deft, playful, poignant and powerful look at the novelist's life, in Yugoslavia and New York (Best Books of 2013 Sunday Times)

Product Description

Aleksandar Hemon’s lives begin in Sarajevo, a small, blissful city where a young boy’s life is consumed by football, by resentment of his younger sister, and by occasional trips abroad with his engineer-cum-beekeeper father; and where 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. Yet this is not really a memoir. It is a lovesong to Sarajevo and to Hemon’s adopted Chicago; it is a heartbreaking paean to the bonds of family; it is a stirring exhortation to go out and play football – 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. 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.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 979 KB
  • Print Length: 225 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: B00FY2SIKI
  • Publisher: Picador (14 Mar 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BPWMXUW
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #176,266 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
  •  Would you like to give feedback on images?


More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, and more.

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?


Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
4.2 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Despatches from Sarajevo and Chicago. 29 Aug 2013
By Sue Kichenside TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover
Aleksandar Hemon tells us that he is compelled to write fiction but is a reluctant memoirist. Perhaps he didn't enjoy writing this book but you'd never know from reading it.

His keen eye for what's really important in life shines through these chapters as he recalls his Sarajevo upbringing in a loving family in the 1980s, the ominous sparks of the firestorm to come in 1992 and his unintended but extremely fortuitous relocation to Chicago just before the siege. Will the mighty, sprawling 'windy city' ever be able to replace the cosy familiarity of his old town neighbourhood?

I just love this guy's writing. Smart, engaging and immensely appealing, it's full of soul yet leavened with humour. But when I read the final chapter, I understood why he didn't want to write non-fiction.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Tale of Two Cities 3 Dec 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This funny, sad, readable and thought-provoking book is a collection of articles that has been edited and reassembled, by the author, into a memoir of his three lives.

The first life, prior to the vicious 1990s civil war in Yugoslavia, is lived in Sarajevo - a city which Aleksandar Hemon conjures in brief and memorable vignettes. Here, he explains, his primary sense of teenage identity came not from his cultural background but from the gangs to which every self-respecting boy belonged. In contrast he describes the inevitable question posed during and after the civil war by combatants, international journalists and bureaucrats alike: 'What are you?' To which the only admissible answer was the reductive tick-box identity of ethnicity or religion.

Fleeing Yugoslavia as it is fractured along sectarian and ethnic lines he finds refuge in the USA, leaping from the centuries-old mixing pot of Sarajevo into the fires of Chicago - a city of refugees. As he recounts his struggles to create a second life we are introduced to a succession of others who have been similarly dislocated, from the multi-national football team whose players are known by their country of origin to the Assyrian, Peter, who beats him at chess.

This second life is bought to a close by a bereavement which creates a rupture with all former sense of self, as certain bereavements are wont to do. Hemon's account of this loss is merciless - to the reader and most of all to himself - and it brings the book to a sobering and difficult end. But this very private coda casts its light on all that has been recounted before, a challenge to the sentimentalisation of suffering beloved by Hollywood in which loss is so often seen as a prelude to 'redemption'.
Read more ›
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It just gets better with every book 24 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Best book by Hemon so far. If it doesn't move you, you have no heart. I've been recommending it to all my friends
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book 8 April 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Book of great beauty and sadness, invest in it, it will move you. I had suggested to all my freinds to read it.
Comment | 
Was this review helpful to you?
Would you like to see more reviews about this item?
Were these reviews helpful?   Let us know

Customer Discussions

This product's forum
Discussion Replies Latest Post
No discussions yet

Ask questions, Share opinions, Gain insight
Start a new discussion
Topic:
First post:
Prompts for sign-in
 

Search Customer Discussions
Search all Amazon discussions
   


Look for similar items by category