Hotel Sarajevo

Jack Kersh

Winner of the 1997 Quality Paperback Book Club’s New Voices Award

The children of Bosnia were the primary victims of the bloodiest conflict in Europe since World War II. Alma, the fourteen-year-old narrator of Hotel Sarajevo, is a plain but precocious girl, a daydreamer who has taken up residence with a group of teenage war orphans in the abandoned Hotel Sarajevo.

Hotel Sarajevo is a powerfully poignant novel of exquisitely worked moods and images. It portrays adolescence in a city ravaged by war and anarchy. Alma is a complex fictional character. She is at once a child playing with her rag doll, a sexually precocious teenager, and a young woman with highly developed self-analytical and survival skills.

This empathic first novel is a stunning exploration of psychological trauma.

  • “Alma is a captivating witness to the horrors and incongruities of a vividly imagined life during wartime.” —Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

  • “A haunting, masterful work.” —Starred review, Kirkus Reviews