Translated by Ammiel Alcalay
"A memorable literary achievement."
"Sarajevo Blues is widely considered here to be the best piece of writing to emerge from the besieged capital since Bosnia's war erupted in April 1992."
The Washington Post
" Sarajevo Blues is at once a battle report and a philosophical investigation. In poems, micro-essays, and prose vignettes, Semezdin Mehmedinovic charts the collapse of a world with heart-breaking clarity and precision."
The Poet of Baghdad
Oct 18, 2007
"Like Bosnian poet Semezdin Mehmedinovic—whose Sarajevo Blues recounts the wracking of that city—Antoon finds that agony is agony regardless of your GPS coordinates."
Tim Kindseth, Time
Can Poetry Be a War Crime?
Jul 22, 2008
"Radovan Karadzic has been captured. To anyone who cares about Bosnia, war crimes, and impunity, this is thrilling, almost impossible news. Thirteen years after the siege of Sarajevo and the massacre at Srebrenica, the warlord who gave the orders is headed for the Hague.
Like many megalomaniacs, Karadzic fancied himself a poet. (In the mid-seventies, he took a few poetry classes at Columbia University while studying psychiatry.) Infuriatingly, Karadzic managed to release a new book of verse, a novel, and a play while living underground.
A real poet, Semezdin Mehmedinovic, in his book Sarajevo Blues, remembers watching Karadzic on the news at the height of the siege:
'Karadzic spouted such blatant lies that, in a rage, I found a book of his children's poetry—There Are Miracles, There Are No Miracles—and began ripping it apart.'"
Rollo Rolig, The New Yorker