Translated from the Bosnian with an introduction by Ammiel Alcalay
Following his depiction of Bosnia under siege in the much celebrated Sarajevo Blues, Semezdin Mehmedinovic´ now explores the vast space of his new continent. Mostly written in response to a cross-country journey by train in post 9-11 America, Mehmedinovic´’s Nine Alexandrias provides a poetry of witness and testimony of a very different order. In this nightmarish and exhilarating odyssey, Mehmedinovic´’s political acuity is displayed everywhere but barely pronounced. In Washington, D.C., his new home, the graphic and tactile affirmation of life amidst horror depicted so masterfully in Sarajevo Blues, turns into an eerie silence that permeates both the expanse of the land and the heart of the American empire.
Semezdin Mehmedinovic´ was born in Tuzla, Bosnia in 1960 and is the author of five books. Mehmedinovic´ arrived in the U.S. as a political refugee in 1996, and he is currently living in Alexandria, Virginia.
Praise for Semezdin Mehmedinovic´’s Sarajevo Blues:
"A memorable literary achievement."—Library Journal
"Sarajevo Blues is widely considered here to be the best piece of writing to emerge from the besieged capital since Bosnia’s war erupted in April 1992."—The Washington Post
"In poems, micro-essays, and prose vignettes, Semezdin Mehmedinovic´ charts the collapse of a world with clear-eyed passion for the truth that one finds in the young Hemingway, the Hemingway of In Our Time."—Paul Auster