Picador £7.99 (210pp) (free p&p) from the Independent Bookshop: 08430 600 030
Love & Obstacles, By Aleksandar Hemon
Friday 16 April 2010
With guile and gusto, these eight stories abound in beautifully oblique sidelong and backwards glances at the genocidal war in Hemon's Bosnian homeland. Hemon – the refugee genius, Sarajevo-born, stranded in Chicago in 1992, hand-to-mouth survivor of America's worst jobs – sends up the familiar myth of himself.
Rueful and self-disparaging, retailing each mishap in a prose that fizzes with dark wit, the narrator often warns about the risks of confusing art and life. The nearest we get to the front-line of Bosnia's tragedy comes in a comic allegory of schoolkids who try to recapture a "garden of freedom" - a fable just as ferocious as Lord of the Flies, but much funnier.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 This 'woman calls police to order pizza' story isn't going where you're expecting
- 2 Axe wielding man shot dead after attacking four New York policemen on busy street
- 3 Watch what happened when food critics were unknowingly served McDonald's
- 4 Jimmy Carr's Oscar Pistorius joke goes a bit too far at the Q Awards
- 5 Ottawa shootings: Bruce MacKinnon's cartoon is the perfect tribute to soldier Nathan Cirillo
Interstellar: What we know about Christopher Nolan's new film so far
The Apprentice 2014: Nurun Ahmed and Lindsay Booth sent home in double firing
JK Rowling to publish new Harry Potter story online for Halloween
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt stars in visceral and brutally ugly drama that reminds us war is hell
Benedict Cumberbatch reignites Star Wars 7 rumours: 'I probably shouldn't be saying this'
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Thousands with degenerative conditions classified as 'fit to work in future' – despite no possibility of improvement
Attacks on 'Ukip Calypso' show how skewed people’s priorities are
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'