ARTS, CULTURE

Guardian’s literary critic praised BiH writer Semezdin Mehmedinović

In his review of Aleksandar Hemon’s edition of ’Best European Fiction 2013’ Guardian’s literary critic praised BiH writer Semezdin Mehmedinović with words:

‘One of the apparently most straightforward narratives here, on the other hand, which almost dares the reader to interpret it as deadpan autobiographical reportage, turns out quickly to be the vehicle for perhaps the volume’s most commanding prose voice. From Bosnia and Herzegovina, Semezdin Mehmedinović’s “My Heart” tells the story of the narrator’s heart attack and hospitalisation at the age of 50, with flashes of striking phenomenology: “And one other optical impression: the bodies of all those people around me were unnaturally big, while my body had shrunk.’

Hemon, american writer of BiH origin said that Mehmedinović, who left Bosnia for the US in the 1990s, exhibits in “My Heart” a feel for words’ materiality which makes palpable “the taste of cement on my tongue”. He compounds a claim in Banville’s preface: “There is verse, there is prose and then there is poetry, which may be conjured in either medium.”

Mehmedinović was born in Kiseljak in 1960 and studied Librarianship and Comparative Literature in Sarajevo

Mehmedinović published his first book of poetry “Modrac” in 1984, and his second book “Emigrant” in 1990.

In 1994, Semezdin and Benjamin Filipović co-wrote and co-directed the film “Mizaldo, kraj Teatra,” which starred Bernard-Henri Lévy and premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.

In 1996, Mehmedinović emigrated to the United States, and currently lives in Alexandria, Virginia. “Sarajevo Blues” was published in English in 1998 and was praised by the Washington Post as one of the best literary documents of the Bosnian war. “Sarajevo Blues” was translated into German, Dutch and Turkish; while portions of the book were translated in over thirty languages.

In 2002, Mehmedinović published another book of poems entitled “Devet Alexandrija”, which was later published by the City Lights of San Francisco under the title “Nine Alexandrias”.

In 2009, Semezdin Mehmedinović and Miljenko Jergovic co-wrote “Transatlantic Mail”, a book of personal letters. Semezdin published “Soviet Computer” in March of 2011, and “Self-portrait With a Messenger Bag” in June of 2012.

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