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Sarajevo Blues

From one of Bosnia’s most prominent poets and writers: spare and haunting stories and poems that were written under the horrific circumstances of the war in Bosnia-Herzegovina. Semezdin Mehmedinovic remained a citizen of Sarajevo throughout the Serbian nationalists’ siege and was active throughout the war in the city’s resistance movement, as one of the editor’s of the magazine Phantom of LibertySarajevo Blues was originally published at the end of 1992 and was the first book in the Biblioteka “egzil-abc” series, published in Ljubljana, which provided a forum for Bosnian writers and translators under siege or living in exile.

In this powerful succession of prose poems, Semezdin Mehmedinović recounts his experience of the siege of Sarajevo and shares with the reader an intimate and sensitive vision of war. Roaming the now deserted popular streets, watched by snipers, the author wanders through a city frozen alive, its tree cut down for firewood. He describes the conflict on a human scale, whether it is a member of his football team turning into an armed radical nationalist or a children’s writer turned war criminal. From the death of his father to whom he could not say goodbye to the loss of innocence of his son, Semezdin Mehmedinović reveals the horrifying universal condition of human beings trapped in war.


'Readers will return to this book time and time ago because there are few books like this and even fewer good writers like Semezdin Mehmedinović'

– Aleksander Hemon


'Sarajevo Blues is both a report of combat and a philosophical inquiry. In poems, micro-essays, and prose vignettes, Semezdin Mehmedinović describes the collapse of a world with poignant clarity and precision. He is the Hemingway of our time.'

– Paul Auster

Publisher: Buybook
Territories: France: Le Bruit du Monde; Croatia: Fraktura
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