The Book of My Lives

I really like the little alien.
The Book of My Lives, by Aleksandar Hemon

Hemon collects personal essays into a sort of memoir/collection of personal essays.  He is mostly a fiction writer.

The essays are all over the place; a couple are about dogs, some about his childhood, others about life in the US, one about pick-up soccer in Chicago.  Hemon is Bosnian and grew up in Sarajevo; he was in his late 20s when war broke out and he happened to be on a visit to the US when his home city was invaded, after which he could not go back, so he stayed.  The war certainly overshadows most of the book, and I appreciated being able to read about it and gain some understanding of what went on (I was in college at the time and mostly didn't even see the daily news, so my knowledge is patchy).

The essays are good.  Very worth reading.  The last one, however, is so completely tragic and heartbreaking that a warning label would have been a good idea.  I was blindsided by it, as indeed he was by the events that he chronicles, so possibly that was the point.


  1. Hi Jean! I'm dropping by to let you know that you were honorably mentioned for reviewing 15 books for the 2014 European Reading Challenge on Rose City Reader.

    The challenge officially ended on January 31, but I was slow to get the final wrap up post posted. Thanks for participating!

  2. Thanks Gilion! It's a very fun challenge and I will join again sometime.


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