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Aleksandar Hemon biography

Author Biography  | Interview  | Books by this Author  | Read-Alikes

Aleksandar Hemon
Photo: Sa Schloff

Aleksandar Hemon

How to pronounce Aleksandar Hemon: HEH-mahn

Aleksandar Hemon Biography

Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and three books 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 was the recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship and a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, and the 2020 Dos Passos Prize. He lives in Chicago.



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Interview

The Lazarus Project is Aleksandar Hemon's third work of fiction, but the first intended as a novel. In it he tackles some tough questions about the life of immigrants in the US. In this interview he discusses what led him to this story, and the resources he drew on to write it.

This is your third work of fiction, but the first one that was conceived and intended as a novel. Was this simply a natural progression in your work, or was it a challenge that you consciously set for yourself?
Well, Nowhere Man was elected a novel. On the cover of the Nowhere Man hardback there was no description of the book - I talked my editor into omitting it. The book was neither a novel nor a short story collection. But then everyone reviewed it as a novel and it came out in paperback as a novel and I guess it is a novel now.

As for The Lazarus Project, for the longest time I called it simply “the big book.” I could not, and would not, refer to it as “a novel” until I submitted it to my editor, so it became something I could describe as a novel very late in its production. It is pretty weird, I think, to set out to write a novel - unless it merely means a lot of pages - because that implies that one is simply writing down what has already been thought up and imagined, that the form precedes the work; I don’t know how to do that. I had no idea what would come out when I started writing The Lazarus Project, except that it would not be a short story. Then one day I just recognized it as a novel, it ...

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Books by this Author

Books by Aleksandar Hemon at BookBrowse
The World and All That It Holds jacket The Book of My Lives jacket Best European Fiction 2011 jacket Best European Fiction 2010 jacket
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Read-Alikes

All the books below are recommended as read-alikes for Aleksandar Hemon but some maybe more relevant to you than others depending on which books by the author you have read and enjoyed. So look for the suggested read-alikes by title linked on the right.
How we choose read-alikes

  • Julian Barnes

    Julian Barnes

    Julian Barnes was born in Leicester, England on January 19, 1946. He was educated at the City of London School from 1957 to 1964 and at Magdalen College, Oxford, from which he graduated in modern languages (with honors) in ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Best European Fiction 2010

    Try:
    Pulse
    by Julian Barnes

  • Phillipe Claudel

    Phillipe Claudel

    Philippe Claudel is the author of many novels, among them By a Slow River, which has been translated into thirty languages and was awarded the Prix Renaudot in 2003 and the Elle Readers' Literary prize in 2004. His ... (more)

    If you enjoyed:
    Best European Fiction 2010

    Try:
    Brodeck
    by Phillipe Claudel

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