G M Holder Love Songs & Monster Songs

ISBN 13: 9780982848937

Love Songs & Monster Songs

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9780982848937: Love Songs & Monster Songs
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Twenty years ago this April, the war that tore the former Yugoslavia apart in the early nineties came to Bosnia when a small group of Serb soldiers, hiding in the Holiday Inn in Sarajevo, opened fire on a large crowd of demonstrators surrounding the Parliament building. On that day the world was introduced to a modern city and a country that would very soon after be swept under the jackboot of the largest ground war fought on European soil since World War II. But with the advent of the war in Bosnia also came startling images of genocide camps, the absolute devastation of thousand year old cities, the burning of the National Library in Sarajevo, not to mention one of the longest city sieges since Leningrad, and from 1991 to 1999 the loss of over a million lives would change the course of Balkan history forever. In 2002, at age 24, G. M. Holder traveled alone to former Yugoslavia where he lived for six months, shocked at how little had been done to reconstruct the country. Thus, in his long-awaited novel, LOVE SONGS & MONSTER SONGS, he examines a side of warfare very rarely documented: postwar life. Here, regeneration through violence, the tyranny of memory, and the absolute chaos of peace are just a few of the themes set forth by Holder in this epic story which cleaves a wide swath from America into the heart of Bosnia. The story itself follows a young American who, suffering from inexplicable nightmares about the war that took place there almost a decade before, resolves to travel there to uncover their origins. On the eve of his departure, however, he falls in love with Lejla, a young woman who, coincidentally, escaped from Sarajevo with her family as a little girl. And with the recurring appearance of an angelic young girl brutally wounded in the four year siege of Sarajevo (who may or may not be a ghost of the war) his mysterious dreams are slowly unraveled as she helps him to resolve a complex obsession for a country that he may never be able to fully understand. Symbolically, allegorically, and figuratively interlinked, the lives destroyed by the Yugoslav war are exhumed in a novel, not only about the civilian position as it shifted both during and after the war, but what has been reified in its afterlife when its people are not yet ready to forget. Though dark and full of shadowy abscesses, here is a glimpse of life after the death of a country as it heals from the largest European conflict since World War II, recounted by a believer in the ultimate beauty of its resurrection.

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About the Author:

G. M. Holder was born in the United States in 1977. In 2002, at age 24, he traveled alone to postwar former Yugoslavia, spending much of his time in Sarajevo. After returning to the United States he worked for almost ten years writing LOVE SONGS & MONSTER SONGS, which chronicles many of his experiences there. In 2007 he traveled to Northern California where he began research for a trilogy he has been writing since then about the Zodiac Killer. Later that year he also hitchhiked across the country collecting stories for a book which concerns Gutterpunk, train hopping, and hitchhiking cultures. Amongst other ongoing projects he is also at work on a large book of Seven Apocalypses and a novel about chronic pain and the disability system. Though he is still widely unrecognized outside of underground literary circles, Holder's lyrical and encyclopedic writing style is already being compared to the likes of Thomas Pynchon, James Joyce and William T. Vollmann. Since 2000 he has lived in Portland, Oregon. He is the author of The Introduction to the World.

Review:

"[LOVE SONGS & MONSTER SONGS] is a pregnant book...a crazy bible for future generations. This book is a feast of life and war and death and dreams..." --Scott McClanahan, author of Stories, Stories II and Stories V

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G M Holder
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