Aleksandar Hemon's "extraordinary story" about his family will be published in a two-book single edition by Picador.
Editor Kris Doyle acquired UK and Commonwealth rights to My Parents: An Introduction and This Does Not Belong to You from Caspian Dennis at Abner Stein on behalf of Nicole Aragi at Aragi Inc. The trade paperback and e-book will be published on 31st October.
Doyle said: “Heartbreaking yet frequently hilarious, profoundly serious and buoyantly irreverent, these agile books are the work of a fierce talent – nobody writes like Aleksandar Hemon. Probing deeply into his own history and ours, he tells the extraordinary story of the Hemons, and in doing so shows us how dislocation changes the soul, family and culture of those forced to flee their homes. For all its seriousness, this is an exuberant, thrilling example of what literature can do; if you’ve not read Hemon before, this is the perfect place to begin.”
In My Parents: An Introduction, Hemon tells the story of his parents’ immigration to Canada after their lives were upended by the war in Bosnia and siege of Sarajevo.
“My Parents is Hemon at his very best,” the publisher said, “grounded in stories lovingly polished by retelling, but stories made thrilling and fresh in writing, summoning unexpected laughs in the midst of the heartbreaking narratives.
This Does Not Belong to You is the “exhilarating, freewheeling, unabashedly personal” companion to My Parents. It is a series of memories and observations about his family, friends and childhood in Sarajevo, presented as “explosive, hilarious, poignant miniatures”.
Chicago-based Hemon is the author of The Book of My Lives, The Lazarus Project, The Making of Zombie Wars and three books of short stories, The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man and Love and Obstacles, all published by Picador. He has been a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award three times, and was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation. He has been described by author Colum McCann as “the greatest writer of our generation”.
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