LOS ANGELES REVIEW OF BOOKS - 11 MAY 2013
"I WAS A NIHILIST," writes Aleksander Hemon, "and lived with my parents. I even started thinking up an Anthology of Irrelevant Poetry, sensing that it was my only hope of ever getting anthologized." He adds, "Nothing came of it, although there was a world of irrelevant poetry everywhere around us. There was nothing to do, and we were running out of ways to do it." Hemon's slim new collection of essays, The Book of My Lives, elicits admiration and joy, and we forgive the expat any moments of arrogance or cruelty because, though his youth in Sarajevo might be said to have been peculiarly comfortable, it also obscured a growing avalanche of darkness.