The hardcover publication of How the Soldier Repairs the Gramophone launched Stanisic as an exciting and important new voice in literary fiction and earned exuberant praise from readers and critics alike. Now in paperback, Stanisic's debut about a boy who experiences the Bosnian War and finds the secret to survival in language and stories is bound to dazzle a whole new readership.
For Aleksandar Krsmanovic, Grandpa Slavko's stories endow life in Visegrad with a kaleidoscopic brilliance. Neighbors, friends, and family past and present take on a mythic quality; the River Drina courses through town like the pulse of life itself. So when his grandfather dies suddenly, Aleksandar promises to carry on the tradition. But then soldiers invade Visegrad—a town previously unconscious of racial and religious divides—and it's no longer important that Aleksandar is the best magician in the nonaligned states; suddenly it is important to have the right last name and to convince the soldiers that Asija, the Muslim girl who turns up in his apartment building, is his sister.
Alive with the magic of childhood, the surreality of war and exile, and the power of language, every page of this glittering novel thrums with the joy of storytelling.