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"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.
A Book Riot Must-Read Book in Translation
“An interrogation of a Bosnian past from a place of trauma and displacement, which parallels the turnstiles of love and family, themes and topics around which the book’s heart is centered . . . There’s no other writer who conveys with such grace what can happen to the heart—physical, emotional, and in its memory. This will be one of the best books of 2021.” —Literary Hub, One of the Most Anticipated Books of the Year
“A marvel of thoughtfulness and love.” —Aleksandar Hemon, Literary Hub
“An intimate, yet profound and lyrical portrait of a man and his family . . . Superbly translated by Celia Hawkesworth, My Heart is an introspective, literary journey worth taking.” —Booklist (starred review)
“Mehmedinović’s poetic side reveals itself via achingly beautiful imagery and recurring motifs. And he is a remarkably prescient observer of America . . . A deeply personal and incisive look at memory, anchored by astute observations.” —Kirkus Reviews
“A powerful autofictional gut punch of a novel . . . Few books are this good at capturing an immigrant’s sense of loss.” —Publishers Weekly (starred review)
“Intelligent, honest, and full of heart, Mehmedinović's novel has all the qualities one might seek in a friend. Like a friend, it is honest enough to tell you even the harshest of truths, and, like a true friend, it ensures that you will never feel alone while you read it, even in its most heartbreaking moments.”—Etgar Keret, author of The Seven Good Years
“My Heart is a family memoir, a personal account, a travelogue, a history, an immigrant story, and more, much more. A brilliant, unforgettable book, concise yet expansive, both microscopic and universal in its scope. It’s a record of the everyday, of the quotidian as informed by our PTSD. An astonishing achievement.” —Rabih Alameddine, author of An Unnecessary Woman
“Mehmedinović’s language is simple, but only because his vision is clear; his sentences are determined and peaceful, as though conditioned by an inner calm rooted in his indelible wandering worldliness—there is a stable center of love inside him, necessary in a world that is inherently unstable.” —Aleksandar Hemon, author of The Lazarus Project
“One of the most endearingly ruminative, sweetly sorrowful short novels I have ever encountered. A quietly devastating portrait of grief and loss, the soul-ache of exile, and the sustaining power of familial love, My Heart broke mine.” —Dan Sheehan, author of Restless Souls
“Readers will discover that Mehmedinovoić’s powerfully affecting and honest tale of the dizzy perimeter of mortality is also the oldest and best kind of story: one of love.” —Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances and American Innovations