Author: Faruk Šehić
With this collection of brutal and heart-wrenching stories, the Bosnian writer Faruk Šehić secured his reputation as one of the greatest writers to emerge from the region. A war veteran and a poet, Sehic combines beauty and horror to seduce and surprise the reader.
Winner of the Zoro Verlag Prize, 2004
"Šehić literally describes the war through the gun sight of an AK-47.H is book is brutal, naturalistic, honest and uncompromising; his characters kill and get killed, they rob corpses and homes, they get drunk and get into fights, they parade in front of a mirror wearing a uniform ripped off a dead soldier . . . There’s drugs and alcohol in abundance, and they are – paradoxically – reason’s last line of defence. But more importantly, Šehić does not use that paradox to describe his characters, but rather the times they live in. Alcohol and drugs are the means of escape into a better, parallel reality, to escape into an illusion of life."
"The Bosnian author’s existence seems bipolar, founded upon the meeting of unlikely identities: a subtle poet and a grizzled soldier in symbiosis. Speaking of his days as a commando, he grins at the recollection of keeping an American poetry anthology in the ammo belt of his Kalashnikov. (Ginsberg was his favourite.) Now he has won recognition as a prose stylist, and his demeanour speaks more of a shy veteran than a literary figure."
Joe Cock, TodayTranslations
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