In June, 2006, Picador launch "Picador Shots", a new series of pocket-sized books priced at GBP1. The "Shots" aim to promote the short story as well as the work of some Picador's greatest authors. They will be contemporarily packaged but ultimately disposable books that are the ideal literary alternative to a magazine. Aleksandar Hemon's "A Coin" and "Exchange of Pleasant Words" from "The Question of Bruno" will be one of the first shots.In "A Coin" the discomforting reality of surviving in a war-zone is pieced together through fragments of letters from Aida, a resident of Sarajevo. Far away, someone endures the anguish of waiting to read what she has written and of wondering if she is even still alive. In "Exchange of Pleasant Words" the history of the Hemon family is assembled from a tangle of literary references, family myths and memories. The result is a subtle exploration of the need to remember the past whether fabricated or truly frightening. Hemon's observations are both painfully funny and heartbreakingly sad. He writes with a wit, freshness and true originality that proves him one of the most talented and skilled writers of his generation.
Aleksandar Hemon is from Sarajevo, emigrated to the United States at the beginning of the war and started writing fiction in English, his second language, two years later