Kin is a family epic from one of Croatia’s most prized writers. In this sprawling narrative which spans the entire twentieth century, Miljenko Jergović peers into the dusty corners of his family’s past, illuminating them with a tender, poetic precision. Ordinary, forgotten objects – a grandfather’s beekeeping journals, a rusty benzene lighter, an army issued raincoat – become the lenses through which Jergović investigates the joys and sorrows of a family living through a century of war. The work is ultimately an ode to Yugoslavia – Jergović sees his country through the devastation of the First World War, the Second, the Cold, then the Bosnian war of the 90s; through its changing street names and borders, shifting seasons, through its social rituals at graveyards, operas, weddings, markets – rendering it all in loving, vivid detail.
[Jergovic is] a poet, novelist, and journalist of the highest caliber . . . His concern is for the living and in this collection of stories about Sarajevo and its inhabitants he writes about them with the seriousness, sensitivity, quirky intelligence, and gentle humor of a master of the short story.
— The New RepublicVast, generous-spirited story of family across the face of the 20th century in the turbulent Balkans . . . There is beauty aplenty, and ample monstrosity, in Jergović’s account, as well as many moments of mystery: a beekeeper’s coded journal, the alpenglow that surrounds Sarajevo as surely as a besieging army, the “living torment” that is existence, all come under Jergović’s empathetic eye. A masterwork of modern European letters that should earn the author a wide readership outside his homeland.
— Kirkus, Starred ReviewMiljenko Jergović has lived as a “foreigner” in Zagreb since 1993, where, as narrator, he channels stories of Sarajevo and the ways in which the city has embodied the 20th century’s major flash points—religious intolerance, virulent nationalism, and world wars . . . Jergović devotes the first section to quotidian ancestral history, but even here the scope widens with soaring chapters on the geopolitical changes after WWII . . . dozens of shimmering vignettes build to the hallucinatory novella-length capstone “Sarajevo Dogs” . . . [Jergović’s] astonishing project offers endless rewards.
— Publisher's Weekly, Starred ReviewKin, Miljenko Jergović’s time-travelling, place-hopping epic, is at once a history of family and an ode to Yugoslavia. Spanning the entire 20th century, Kin traces the palimpsestic layers of the region’s past from the two World Wars through to the turmoil of the 90s. Taking the dusty objects of his family’s past and his own pockmarked memories as the subjects of his enquiry, the book is as much a comment on memory’s elusive surface as it is a social history of the region.
— Matt Janney, Calvert JournalJergovic has the mien of the rare author whose gift is so innate he need only conquer a few demons and steady his hands enough to write it all down.
— San Diego Union
PRAISE FOR MILIJENKO JERGOVIĆ’S MAMA LEONE
— [A] multilayered and complex text, which demonstrates why Jergović is one of the most prominent Croatian authors and one of the most translated European writers.
— World Literature Today