Author(s): Sasa Stanisic
Aleksandar is Comrade-in-Chief of fishing, the best magician in the non-aligned States and painter of unfinished things. He knows the first chapter of Marx's Das Kapital by heart but spends most of his time playing football in the Bosnian town of Visegrad on the banks of the river Drina. When his grandfather, a master storyteller, dies of the fastest heart attack in the world while watching Carl Lewis's record, Aleksandar promises to carry on the tradition. However when the shadow of war spreads to Visegrad, the world as he knows it stops. Suddenly it is not important how heavy a spider's life weighs, or why Marko's horse is related to Superman. Suddenly it is important to have the right name and to pretend that the little Muslim girl Asija is his sister. Then Aleksandar's parents decide to flee to Germany and he must leave his new friend behind.
The author is only 28 but has already been shortlisted for the German Book Award, won the Chamisso prize, the Bremer Literaturforderpreis and the Ingeborg Bachmann prize, and has held both the Iowa and Graz writing fellowships. The author is himself a refugee who left Visgrad when he was 14. He speaks fluent English. 'I love this book. It's funny and it's heartfelt and it's brazen and it's true. Find some space on your shelf beside Jonathan Safran Foer, William Vollmann and David Foster Wallace. A welcome voice rising up amongst the great voices.' Colum McCann 'A magnificent feast of storytelling. Sharp, funny, humane, magical.' Gary Shteyngart, author of The Russian Debutante's Handbook Rights sold to: Bosnia, Brazil, Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Iceland, Korea, The Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Catalan, Sweden, Taiwan, USA
Shortlisted for Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize 2009.
Sasa Stanisic was born 1978 in Visegrad in Bosnia-Herzegovina and has been living in Germany since 1992. How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone is his first novel and was shortlisted for the German Book Award as well as winning several other major prizes, with translations in 24 languages forthcoming. Stanisic is also the recipient of the prestigious Graz and Iowa writing fellowships.