Love and Obstacles: Book summary and reviews of Love and Obstacles by Aleksandar Hemon

Love and Obstacles

By Aleksandar Hemon

Love and Obstacles
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  • Published in USA  May 2009,
    224 pages.

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Book Summary

Aleksandar Hemon earned his reputation— and his MacArthur “genius grant”—for his short stories, and he returns to the form with a powerful collection of linked stories that stands with The Lazarus Project as the best work of his celebrated career. A few of the stories have never been published before; the others have appeared in The New Yorker, and several of those have also been included in The Best American Short Stories. All are infused with the dazzling, astonishingly creative prose and the remarkable, haunting autobiographical elements that have distinguished Hemon as one of the most original and illustrious voices of our time.

What links the stories in Love and Obstacles is the narrator, a young man who - like Hemon himself - was raised in Yugoslavia and immigrated to the United States. The stories of Love and Obstacles are about that coming of age and the complications—the obstacles—of growing up in a Communist but cosmopolitan country, and the disintegration of that country and the consequent uprooting and move to America in young adulthood. But because it’s Aleksandar Hemon, the stories extend far beyond the immigrant experience; each one is punctuated with unexpected humor and spins out in fabulist, exhilarating directions, ultimately building to an insightful, often heartbreaking conclusion. Woven together, these stories comprise a book that is, genuinely, as cohesive and powerful as any fiction— achingly human, charming, and inviting.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Writing with steely control and an antic eye, Hemon has assembled another extraordinary work. " - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. Not as ambitious as The Lazarus Project, but no work by Hemon is a minor effort." - Kirkus Reviews

"Readers who've enjoyed Hemon's earlier fiction won't be disappointed; readers who are new to Hemon will be grateful that they've discovered a refreshingly uncorrupted voice." - Library Journal

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Author Information

Aleksandar Hemon Author Biography

Photo: Sa Schloff

Aleksandar Hemon was born in Darajevo in 1964 and Graduated from University of Sarajevo in 1990. In 1992 Hemon arrived in Chicago on what was planned to be a short visit, but he was soon stranded in the U.S. as Sarajevo fell under siege. When it became clear that he would be in the U.S. more or less permanently, he gave himself five years to master enough English to write fiction. He began writing in English in 1995 and is the author of The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, Love and Obstacles, and The Book of My Lives.

The Question of Bruno appeared on Best Books of 2000 lists nationwide, won several literary awards, and was published in eighteen countries. In addition, his work appears regularly in The New Yorker, Esquire, Granta, McSweeneys, Paris Review, and Best American Short ...

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