Love and Obstacles by Aleksandar Hemon

Each of Hemmon’s short stories – loosely connected by theme, atmosphere and the author’s tendency to create characters that appear autobiographical, but are not – is a gem. Some are fantastical, some down to earth. Together they make something quite strange, and possibly eccentric, that will either leave you intrigued and hooked, as I was, or quickly put off.

The narrator, who may be common to each story, is an internationalist with no real ties to any particular country or culture. He may find himself in Africa among people the colonialists appear to have left behind, in a broken Sarajevo or a relatively humdrum Chicago. Wherever he is, he is neither comfortable with himself or those he’s with; he’s the outsider’s outsider.

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