Immigrant Blues

by Goran Simic


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Immigrant Blues, an extension and deepening of the famous poems of the siege of Sarajevo translated in Simic’s Sprinting from the Graveyard (Oxford, 1997), explores the personal and the public devastations of war, especially its effects on the emotions, thoughts and memories of exiled survivors. Simic’s genius is to present this disturbing reality in terms so vigorous and humane that pain is mixed with the solace and pleasure of great art.

Open the doors, the guests are coming
some of them burned by the sun, some of them pale
but every one with suitcases made of human skin.
If you look carefully at the handles, fragile as birds’ spines,
you will find your own fingerprints, your mother’s tears,
your grandpa’s sweat.
The rain just started. The world is grey.

from “Open the Door”

English translations by Amela Simic

“The brilliance of these poems lies in their detail, their lack of rhetoric, and their passion.” – Helen Dunmore, reviewing Sprinting from the Graveyard in The Observer

“Goran Simic has written with tact and restraint in daunting and provocative conditions. The fact that his terrifying testimony seems more whispered than screamed is part of its power.” – Denis O’Driscoll, on Sprinting from the Graveyard in The Times Literary Supplement

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About the Author

Goran Simic was born in Bosnia in 1952 and has published eleven volumes of poetry, drama and short fiction; his work has been translated into nine languages and has been published and performed in several European countries. One of the most prominent writers of the former Yugoslavia, Simic was trapped in the siege of Sarajevo. In…

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Additional Info

  • ISBN: 1894078284
  • ISBN-13: 9781894078283
  • Pages: 80
  • Year: 2003
  • Dimensions 5.5 x 8.75 x 0.25 in
  • Category:
  • Cover Art:

    Photograph by Berge Arabian

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