Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  Aleksander Hemon  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1964 in Sarajevo, Bosnia

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Illinois Connection

Hemon moved to Chicago in 1992 and still lives there today. He attended Northwestern University in Evanston.

Biographical and Professional Information

Aleksander Hemon is the author of ''The Lazarus Project'', which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and three collections 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 also edited ''Best European Fiction 2010''.Born in Sarajevo, Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for a matter of months. While he was there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004.


He has won many awards including the National Magazine Award for Fiction from the New Yorker , the St. Francis College Literary Prize, and he was awarded the genius grant from the MacArthur foundation and a Guggenheim fellowship. He also received the John C Zacharis First Book Award from Ploughshares.

'The Question of Bruno '


Notable Book, New York Times Book Review

Ten Best Books of the Year, Esquire

25 Favorite Books of the Year, Village Voice

Best Book of 2000, Los Angeles Times

Washington Post Book World Rave

'Nowhere Man '

Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

'The Lazarus Project '

Finalist, National Book Award, 2008

Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

'Love and Obstacles '

Starred Review, Booklist

Starred Review, Publishers Weekly

'The Book of My Lives '

Finalist, National Book Critics Circle Award

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Selected Titles At Your Library

Exchange of pleasant words :
ISBN: 0330445812. OCLC Number: 166621711

Picador,. .

Love and obstacles :
ISBN: 1594484619. OCLC Number: 262428482

Riverhead Books,. .

The linked stories of "Love and Obstacles" center around a young man from Yugosalvia who immigrates to America. In dazzling prose, Hemon (himself an immigrant from Yugoslavia) portrays the complications, "the obstacles," of growing up in a Communist but cosmopolitan country, and the disintegration of that country and the consequent uprooting and move to America in young adulthood.

My parents :
ISBN: 0374217432. OCLC Number: 1083672910

. .

"This is Aleksandar Hemon at his most intimate and most urgent, the book he was literally born to write: the stories of his parents, of his own arrival in this world, of dislocation and immigration"--

Nowhere man :
ISBN: 0375727027. OCLC Number: 54052090

Vintage Books,. .

Josef Pronek, a new immigrant to Chicago, reflects on his Sarajevo boyhood as he struggles with English, strange jobs, and tricky questions of identity in exile.

The book of my lives /
ISBN: 0374115737. OCLC Number: 795174920

Farrar, Straus and Giroux,. .

Aleksandar Hemon's lives begin in Sarajevo, a small, blissful city where a young boy's life is consumed with street soccer with the neighborhood kids, resentment of his younger sister, and trips abroad with his engineer-cum-beekeeper father; a young man's life is about poking at elder pretensions with American music, bad poetry, and slightly better journalism. And then, his life in Chicago: watching from afar as war breaks out and the city comes under siege; his parents and sister fleeing Sarajevo, leaving behind all they had ever known; and Hemon himself starting a new life in this new city. And yet this is not really a memoir--Hemon's first book of nonfiction defies convention and expectation. It is a love song to two different cities; it is a paean to the bonds of family; it is an exhortation to go out and play soccer--and not for the exercise. It is a book driven by passions but built on fierce intelligence, devastating experience, and sharp insight. And like the best narratives, it is a book that will leave you a different person, with a new way of looking at the world.--From publisher description.

The Lazarus project /
ISBN: 1594483752. OCLC Number: 183267842

Riverhead Books,. .

On March 2, 1908, nineteen-year-old Lazarus Averbuch, a recent Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe to Chicago, knocked on the front door of the house of George Shippy, the chief of Chicago police. When Shippy came to the door, Averbuch offered him what he said was an important letter. Instead of taking the letter, Shippy shot Averbuch twice, killing him. When Shippy released a statement casting Averbuch as a would-be anarchist assassin and agent of foreign political operatives, he all but set off a city and a country already simmering with ethnic and political tensions. Now, in the twenty-first century, a young writer in Chicago, Brik, also from Eastern Europe, becomes obsessed with Lazarus story--what really happened, and why?--From publisher description.

The making of zombie wars /
ISBN: 1250094623. OCLC Number: 918994728

. .

"A novel about an aspiring screenplay writer--full of script ideas but unable to follow through on any of them--who becomes entangled with a Bosnian woman and her violently jealous husband"--

The question of Bruno /
ISBN: 0375727000. OCLC Number: 46912678

Vintage International,. .