Sarajevo Blues

Front Cover
City Lights Publishers, Dec 1, 1998 - 122 pages
5 Reviews

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 recent war in Bosnia-Hercegovina. 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 Liberty. Sarajevo 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. Semezdin Mehmedinovic says that "writing is, finally, quite a personal thing that doesn't make much sense unless you are practicing for the last word." For those Bosnians emerging from the siege or still in exile, these "last words" remain intimate possessions, one of the last bastions left against the commodification of tragedy.

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Review: Sarajevo Blues

User Review  - Dayna Smith - Goodreads

One of Bosnia prominent poets and writers, Mehmedinovic stayed in Sarajevo during the war and this book of short stories and poems takes you to the war torn city and lets you experience for yourself ... Read full review

Review: Sarajevo Blues

User Review  - Mallowmrawr - Goodreads

Detached and disheartening. Very sad prose concerned with this novel. Encourages awareness of the things that happen outside our own little "world", makes you notice things that are usually taken for granted on our end. Read full review

About the author (1998)

Semezdin Mehmedinovic was born in Tuzla, Bosnia in 1960 and is the author of four books. In 1993 he was cowriter and codirector, with Benjamin Filipovic, of Mizaldo, one of the first Bosnian films shot during the war. The film was presented at the Berlin Film Festival in 1994, and won the first prize at the Mediterranean Festival in Rome the following year. He, his wife, and their child left Bosnia and came to the U.S. as polical refugees in 1996.

Ammiel Alcalay is poet, translator, critic, and scholar who teaches at Queens College and the CUNY Graduate Center. He is the author of, among other books, After Jews and Arabs (1993); the cairo notebooks (1993); Memories of Our Future (1999); from the warring factions (2002); and Scrapmetal (2007). A new book of essays, A Little History, is due out in 2010. He was one of the initiators of the Poetry Is News Coalition, and helped to organize the Olson Now project. He has recently launched Lost & Found: The CUNY Poetics Document Initiative, a publishing venture whose mission is to retrieve and make available key texts falling widely under the rubric of the New American Poetry.

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