Aleksandar Hemon


My Heart

A Novel

A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice

"Calm and contemplative, softened by melancholy humor and always alive to beauty . . . Throughout My Heart, Mr. Mehmedinović takes up the exile’s perpetual investigation into memory, trying to reconcile the defining traumas of the past with the tendency of time to scrub them away: “Remembering and forgetting stand side by side, they’re made of the same substance.” That substance, whatever it is, pulses throughout this noble and large-souled work of literature." —Sam Sacks, Wall Street Journal
"Though it deals with tragedy, My Heart is never depressing, partly because of the beauty of the language—expertly translated from the Bosnian by Celia Hawkesworth—and partly because of its depth and honesty of emotion, its intelligence and generosity of spirit, and the precision and originality of Mehmedinovic’s observations . . . [A] powerful, at once profound and charming book." —Francine Prose, The New York Times Book Review

"Today, it seems, was the day I was meant to die." When a writer suffers a heart attack at the age of fifty, he must confront his mortality in a country that is not his native home. Confined to a hospital bed and overcome by a sense of powerlessness, he reflects on the fragility of life and finds extraordinary meaning in the quotidian. In this affecting autobiographical novel, Semezdin Mehmedinovic explores the love he and his family have for one another, strengthened by trauma; their harrowing experience of the Bosnian war, which led them to flee for the United States as refugees; eerie premonitions of Donald Trump's presidency; the life and work of a writer; and the nature of memory and grief.

Poetically explosive and pure to the core, My Heart serves as a kind of mirror, reflecting our human strengths and weaknesses along with the most important issues on our minds--love and death, the present and the past, sickness and health, leaving and staying.