Miljenko Jergović
Archipelago Books

In this sprawling narrative spanning the twentieth century, Miljenko Jervović looks into the dusty corners of his family's past, illuminating them with a razor-sharp eye. Ordinary, forgotten objects – a grandfather's bee-keeping journals, a rusty benzene lighter, an army-issued raincoat – become the lenses through which Jergović investigates the joys and sorrows of three generations. Kin is in part an ode to Yugoslavia – taking us through the devastation of the First and Second World War, the Cold War, then the Bosnian War of the 1990s, through changing borders and perspectives, through social rituals at graveyards, through long walks within the labyrinths of Sarajevo and his own mottled memories, Jergović renders it all in candid detail. 

Translated by Russell Scott Valentino.