Mama Leone (Paperback)
Written in the shadow of the Yugoslav wars, yet never eclipsed by them, Mama Leone is a delightful cycle of interconnected stories by one of Central Europe’s most dazzling contemporary storytellers. Miljenko Jergovi? leads us from a bittersweet world of precocious childhood wonder and hilarious invention, where the seduction of a well-told lie is worth more than a thousand prosaic truths, out into fractured worlds bleary-eyed from the unmagnificence of growing up. Yet for every familial betrayal and diminished expectation, every love and home(land) irretrievably lost, every terror and worst fear realized, Jergovi?’s characters never surrender the promise of redemption being but a lone kiss or winning bingo card away. As readers we wander the book’s rhapsodic literary rooms, and as a myriad of unforgettable human voices call out to us, startled, across oceans and continents, we recognize them as our own.
About the Author
Miljenko Jervogic was born in Sarajevo in 1966. A poet and journalist, he writes for the daily Oslobodjenje newspaper. He was written another collection of stories as well as two novels, Buick Riviera and Mama Leone. His work has been translated extensively throughout the world.
Stela Tomasevic was born in Belgrade in 1963. She studied literature at the University of East Anglia. She has translated numerous works of non-fiction from the Bosnian and from the French. She currently works for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Former Yugoslavia.
David Williams heads the four- and five-year-old division of the summer soccer camps sponsored by Fort Lewis College, in Durango, Colorado.
Scott Graham is an author, journalist, father, and coach of young soccer players.
Miljenko Jergovi? is a fascinating writer in the best literary tradition of Central Europe. Mama Leone is a fresh, original and seductive narrative on a family odyssey, real and imaginary, through love and death, war and wonder, sorrow and joy, told with gentle irony, intensity, and magic candor. —Norman Manea
These spare tales speak of all that may yet befall us if we forget our essential fragility.—Richard Flanagan
A remarkable collection . . . Grim, beautiful ruminations on how the familiarities of life can, in the instant a bomb drops, become unrecognizable. . . . With a natural sense of stopping point and courage to spare, Jergovi?? 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 Tribune
Miljenko Jergovi? is a superb stylist...He manages to convey vivid and emotionally rich pictures of everyday life with even the slightest of rhetorical flourishes. His prose can be deceptively simple at times, but this reveals his fine-tuned ear for language that eschews unnecessary complications. David Williams has done a superb job of translating these stories and has managed to keep them fresh and vivid even in English. They are bound to amuse and entertain. —Bojan Tunguz
[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 Republic