Love and Obstacles by Aleksandar Hemon

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From the celebrated author of the bestselling Lazarus Project "a dazzling collection of stories ... further cementing [Hemon's] position among the finest fiction writers working in English" (GQ).

The stories of Aleksandar Hemon's Love and Obstacles are united by their narrator, a young man coming of age in Communist-but-cosmopolitan Sarajevo who will leave for the United States just as his city is torn asunder. In Hemon's hands, seemingly mundane childhood experiences become daring, dramatic adventures, while unique and wrenching circumstances become a common ground that involves us all. As cohesive and impressive as any novel, the short story collection Love and Obstacles stands with the National Book Award finalist The Lazarus Project as the best work of this MacArthur Genius Award winner's career.

From the author of The Book of My Lives.

About Aleksandar Hemon

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Born in Sarajevo, Aleksandar Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for a matter of months. While he was there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. His work now appears regularly in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories. He is the author of The Question of Bruno and Nowhere Man, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hemon was awarded a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004. Riverhead will publish Hemon’s next book, Love and Obstacles, in 2009.
Published March 9, 2009 by Riverhead Books. 225 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Love and Obstacles

Kirkus Reviews

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National Book Award–nominated author Hemon (The Lazarus Project, 2008, etc.), a Bosnian now based in Chicago who has had several stories published in the New Yorker, offers a series of interconnected, first-person narratives about a Bosnian writer who moves to Chicago and has a story called “Love...

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The New York Times

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Aleksandar Hemon begins the first story in his new collection with a feat of misdirection: “It was a perfect African night, straight out of Conrad: .

Jun 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Love and Obstacles

The Guardian

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A lot of these stories hinge on seductive lies and charismatic liars, and Hemon's writing, even as it supplies some of the richest delights in contemporary prose, as well as some of the best jokes, seems haunted by a wish to deliver an impossibly authentic witness to unspeakable tragedy.

Aug 15 2009 | Read Full Review of Love and Obstacles

The Guardian

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Love and Obstacles, a collection of stories linked by an unnamed Bosnian writer-narrator, tests what it describes as Hemon's "well-rehearsed story of displacement and writing in English" to breaking point.

Sep 27 2009 | Read Full Review of Love and Obstacles

The Telegraph

Then there’s that mirage of a title, which comes and goes in these stories as the name of a poem or story the narrator has written elsewhere (teasingly, “Everything” was first published in the New Yorker in 2005 as “Love and Obstacles”).

Aug 11 2009 | Read Full Review of Love and Obstacles

The Bookbag

Summary: A collection of linked stories with a young poet and his tribulations, concerning women, emigration, poems, freezer collection...

Oct 24 2009 | Read Full Review of Love and Obstacles

Open Letters Monthly

But, where the Nabokov connection begins is also where it ends, and Hemon’s new collection of linked stories Love and Obstacles is peppered with such outright clunkers as “A tableau of panting, unctuous bodies, limbs entangled like mating snakes,” metaphorical stretches like “his right hand hangi...

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Oregon Live

Best known for last year's National Book Award finalist, "The Lazarus Project," Bosnian writer Aleksandar Hemon is a bilingual genius who has been compared to Vladimir Nabokov, among other cross-vernacular masters.

May 22 2009 | Read Full Review of Love and Obstacles

Bookmarks Magazine

Though the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel considered Hemon's subject matter trite and uninspired, most critics, in spite of a few complaints-including some awkward language, a sporadic anti-American undercurrent, and forced connections among stories-were pleased by Hemon's return to familiar terrain.

May 04 2009 | Read Full Review of Love and Obstacles

Reading the stories in in Aleksandar Hemon's new collection, Love and Obstacles , you may feel nearly giddy with pleasure at how beautifully written, funny, and entertaining they are, and at the depths of tenderness and seriousness swirling beneath their wry, deceptively offhand surface.

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Fiction Writers Review

Impediments, more than love, are the foundation of Love and Obstacles: Stories (Riverhead, May 2009).

Sep 19 2009 | Read Full Review of Love and Obstacles

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