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Thinner Than a Hair Paperback – 7 Apr 2010


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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Cinnamon Press (7 April 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1907090037
  • ISBN-13: 978-1907090035
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 1.3 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,437,118 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Adnan Mahmutović (1974) became a refugee of war in 1993 and ended up in Sweden. He worked for a decade with people with brain damage while studying English and philosophy. He has PhD in English literature and MFA in creative writing, and he is currently a lecturer and writer-in-residence at the Department of English, Stockholm University. He is the author of the acclaimed first novel Thinner than a Hair (Cinnamon Press, 2010).

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mrs. V. R. Gebbie on 13 May 2010
Format: Paperback
Mahmutovic is an extraordinary and gifted writer. "Thinner Than A Hair", his third work of fiction, won first prize in the Cinnamon Press first novel competition 2008.

"Thinner Than Hair" is an engaging and extraordinary first person narrative, written from the point of view of Fatima - a very interesting character - a feisty Bosnian girl, displaced to Germany due to the war. The narrative starts in Munich where she is a refugee, working as a prostitute, and her memories take the reader on a journey through her life to this point. I was particularly struck by Mahmutovic's ability to create a totally believable female narrator who I cared about. He inhabits the female psyche extremely well, enabling the reader to sink with no problem at all into the fictive world he weaves. Fatima's first real love, Aziz, is a most memorable character as well. Mahmutovic explores Fatima's complex relationships with not only the man but with his family and her own, as the clouds of war loom ever closer.

The narrative is controlled, and straight. At no time does he drop the reader into scenes or descriptive byways unless they are strictly necessary to the plot. This is Fatima's story - Mahmutovic never intrudes. And it is an important story. The poignant themes of displacement and non-belonging echo through his work, and Fatima carries these themes well, opening the eyes of this reader to the very real issues behind what it is to be in her position. It is an impressive debut novel.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Fatema S. M. Matar on 14 May 2010
Format: Paperback
When I found that the heroine of the book had the name "Fatima" I was thrilled! However 'Mahmutovic' fascinates me again and again with his beautiful images:

"...Mum whispered things I didn't understand, but the tone was thick and slow like dollops of apple syrup dropping on my morning bread..." "...Her body was hot as the simmering Bosnian Casserole she made on weekends..." "...although it was noo longer spring, there was the smell of compot with pears, plums, and quince; roasted nuts in dry prunes; lilac; simmering milk poured over white honey; hot bread releasing wooly plumes when dipped in thick apple syrup..."

I could almost smell and taste the deliciousness. Mahmutovic tells the story of the Bosnian war, a story of love, loss, doubt, and sacrifice. I was astonished at how Mahmutovic made me love Fatima, respect her. In most cases the story of a Muslim girl raised on rigid Muslim ideologies in a small conservative society, turning to prostitution for a living would be received with resentment or shame, but Fatima is a true survivor a realist. The author does not only try to justify Fatima's fallen fate, he actually succeeds.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Micke Johansson on 18 May 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is among the best new writing in English. I couldn't put it down. Mahmutovic uses his Bosnian background as a rich source for an exploration of most basic human emotions, instincts and vices. Fatima is an incredible female character, but her lover Aziz is even more memorable with his unpredictable responses to the most excruciating circumstances. Unlike Hemon, the other big name from Bosnia, Mahmutovic avoids authorial intrusion. He does not show off, but lets his characters shine in their different peculiarities. It's a story of love and war that leaves nothing typical.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Omar Sabbagh VINE VOICE on 25 Aug. 2010
Format: Paperback
Mahmutovic's novel is a truly gripping read. Beside a lyrical quality, it so well paces the dolling out of information to the reader, by a selective narrative design, that the reader will quite easily read it in one sitting. Packed into a short space we have here a study of character slowly disintegrating under horrid external pressures. And yet the plot is judicious. When one has finished the book and thinks it over, one realises that this is not narcissistic work or therapeutic work, which chooses a cynical mode to portray change in character,but rather the latter is necessitated by the public political setting. In other words, Mahmutovic shows, rather than tells, the logic behind the story and due to his powers of empathy and negative capability, we believe everything we've read. This novel is not only beautifully written but tactfully written as well. We don't have purple passages gushing over loss and war, but just enough to touch us and let us do the rest of the work in our imaginations. A true tour de force, in the same way tariq ali's novels are. I look forward now to reading more Mahmutovic.
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