The World and All That It Holds: A Novel (Hardcover)

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Description


The World and All That It Holds—in all its hilarious, heartbreaking, erotic, philosophical glory—showcases Aleksandar Hemon’s celebrated talent at its pinnacle. It is a grand, tender, sweeping story that spans decades and continents. It cements Hemon as one of the boldest voices in fiction.

As the Archduke Franz Ferdinand arrives in Sarajevo one June day in 1914, Rafael Pinto is busy crushing herbs and grinding tablets behind the counter at the pharmacy he inherited from his estimable father. It’s not quite the life he had expected during his poetry-filled student days in libertine Vienna, but it’s nothing a dash of laudanum from the high shelf, a summer stroll, and idle fantasies about passersby can’t put in perspective.

And then the world explodes. In the trenches in Galicia, fantasies fall flat. Heroism gets a man killed quickly. War devours all that they have known, and the only thing Pinto has to live for are the attentions of Osman, a fellow soldier, a man of action to complement Pinto’s introspective, poetic soul; a charismatic storyteller; Pinto’s protector and lover.

Together, Pinto and Osman will escape the trenches, survive near-certain death, tangle with spies and Bolsheviks. Over mountains and across deserts, from one world to another, all the way to Shanghai, it is Pinto’s love for Osman—with the occasional opiatic interlude—that keeps him going.

About the Author


Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and three books of short stories: The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Love and Obstacles. He was the recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship and a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation, and the 2020 Dos Passos Prize. He lives in Chicago.

Praise For…


“Aleksandar Hemon’s The World and All That It Holds is one of the finest novels I’ve ever read, and like all great stories, it refuses to be pigeonholed. It’s a road novel, an immigrant tale, a ghost story, a family portrait, a mystery, a historical epic, a war novel, and yes, a love story—it is all that and more, a feat of
unfettered literary bravura. In short, a masterpiece.”
—RABIH ALAMEDDINE, author of The Wrong End of the Telescope


"Hemonites rejoice! The master is back and he has forged a remarkable tale of love and war alongside his own 20th Century Silk Road. From Sarajevo to Shanghai, every sentence, every paragraph is a sensuous and often hilarious delight. Not a Hemonite yet? I envy you your very first encounter with one of the world's greatest writers."
—GARY SHTEYNGART, author of Our Country Friends


"The World and All That It Holds is a twisting, turning epic rooted in love in all its forms; an odyssey of statelessness; a haunted museum of history ranging from Sarajevo to Shanghai and Jerusalem; and an apothecary of wit, folklore and unexpectable sentences. This life-stuffed novel is Aleksandar Hemon’s masterpiece.”
—DAVID MITCHELL, author of Cloud Atlas

"The World and All that It Holds is an explosive novel. Bursting with energy, wits, and insights, it’s an epic meditation on history, philosophy, and human conditions. Aleksandar Hemon once again proves him to be one of our most innovative and invigorating novelists."
—YIYUN LI, author of The Book of Goose



Product Details
ISBN: 9780374287702
ISBN-10: 0374287708
Publisher: MCD
Publication Date: January 24th, 2023
Pages: 352
Language: English