Aleksandar Hemon (1964) was born in Sarajevo, arrived in Chicago in 1992, began writing in English in 1995, and now his work appears regularly in The New Yorker, Granta, Esquire, Best American Short Stories, Paris Review.
His first collection of stories, The Question of Bruno (Talese/Doubleday, 2000) won the Ploughshares 2001 John C. Zacharis First Book Award, appeared on Best Books of 2000 lists nationwide, and has been published in eighteen countries.
He is now a regular contributor to The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories. Hemon's writing in his debut novel, Nowhere Man (Talese/Doubleday, 2002), has been compared to Nabokov's. Nowhere Man was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.
His 2008 novel, The Lazarus Project, unites the narratives about the 1908 death of an East European Jewish immigrant Lazarus Averbuch in Chicago, and about the Bosnian immigrant writer Vladimir Brik (Hemon's alterego) as he researches Lazarus's story. The Lazarus Project was a National Book Award finalist.
Hemon has received numerous awards, nominations and prizes, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004.
Recorded Wednesday, May 06, 2009 at University of Chicago-Classics 110.