My Parents: An Introduction / This Does Not Belong to You

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Product Details
$18.00  $16.74
Picador USA
Publish Date
5.1 X 7.9 X 1.0 inches | 0.75 pounds

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About the Author
Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Making of Zombie Wars; The Book of My Lives, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award and a New York Times bestseller; and three books of short stories, including Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and a Genius Grant from the MacArthur Foundation.

"Hemon has always played with boundaries--of places, of selves--exploring how lines that can be so porous and contingent could also matter so much . . . There's a fatalism that suffuses 'This Does Not Belong to You, ' an overwhelming sense of mortality and the suspicion that storytelling might never be enough. This despair is leavened by what Hemon so beautifully and concretely conveys in 'My Parents, ' with Hemon as a middle-aged son who is carefully and movingly trying to make sense of it all." --Jennifer Szalai, The New York Times

"Moving . . . Hemon at his most contemplative, whimsical, and personal. He's written autobiographical fiction and a collection of personal essays, but This Does Belong to You, being his most fragmented work, reflects his truest self . . . This Does Not Belong to You is Hemon looking deeply into himself, mining the recesses of his mind . . . it is, like My Parents, a joy to join in the reflection." --Barry Rosenthal, Los Angeles Times

"These two new books are bound together in a single volume . . . [they] meet, like hemispheres, in the middle. Together, they constitute the poles of Hemon's world: history and memoir, reality and myth, realism and the avant-garde." --Ryu Spaeth, The New Republic

"His latest two-books-in-one memoir makes clear that a penchant for narrative--not to mention beekeeping, folk singing and righteous grievance--runs in his immigrant family." --Julia M. Klein, Chicago Tribune

"[In] Hemon's gorgeous new dual memoir . . . The writing contains both immediacy and a thrillingly historical long view . . . There is all the love and frustration here that anyone feels for their aging parents, with the additional heft of sympathy for their pain . . . While My Parents unrolls in great skeins of storytelling, its companion book, This Does Not Belong to You, is a series of short, spikier pieces, untitled, none longer than a single paragraph . . . some of the best writing about what it really feels like to be a child that I can recall reading." --Kate Tuttle, Newsday

"Novelist Hemon brings his piercing sardonic vision to a perfectly matched dual book." --Jane Ciabattari, BBC

"Hemon continues to chronicle his family history with abundant skill and artistry." --A.V. Club

"A witty, mournful two-in-one memoir. In My Parents: An Introduction, Hemon explores his parents' history and melancholy relationships to food, music, marriage and other cultural touchstones. In This Does Not Belong to You, Hemon contemplates his inheritance. In either case, the mood is anxious. To be a Hemon is to be watchful, and what you're watching for is the other shoe dropping." --Mark Athitakis, The Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Hemon resists, redefines and liberates his prose from genre labels by incorporating multiple forms and styles throughout each work. For Hemon, as a writer and professor, it is not about what a piece of writing "is" in a categorical sense, but rather how to employ the possibilities of language to construct complex narrative spaces." --S. Fedowsi, New City

"Two very different memoirs within the same cover address memory, identity, history, and mortality from different perspectives . . . [My Parents is] a memoir of mortality, of memory, of what endures. This Does Not Belong to You is more of a series of coming-of-age fragments, some rapturously poetic . . . An incisive combination of literature that addresses the function of literature and memories that explore the meaning of memory" --Kirkus Reviews

"My Parents follows his father and mother as they rose from impoverished rural backgrounds to enjoy the communist 'Yugoslav Dream' . . . This Does Not Belong to You is an impressionistic, darker-edged sheaf of Hemon's boyhood memories . . . Sometimes lively and sensual, sometimes bleakly ruminative, Hemon's recollections unite his dazzling prose style with a captivating personal narrative." --Publishers Weekly

"Hemon's newest, most delving nonfiction work . . . [My Parents] incorporates the complicated histories of Bosnia and Yugoslavia, studded with cultural touchstones, in his ardently precise and analytical portraits of his parents, while in This Does Not Belong to You he deepens the art of the vignette with sensuous and emotional veracity as he shares scorching moments from his Sarajevo childhood . . . Bracing candor, gruff tenderness, righteous anger, and political astuteness, [are] all conveyed with Hemon's signature intensity, mordant wit, and creative bite." --Donna Seaman, Booklist