Aleksandar Hemon was born in Darajevo in 1964 and Graduated from University of Sarajevo in 1990. In 1992 Hemon arrived in Chicago on what was planned to be a short visit, but he was soon stranded in the U.S. as Sarajevo fell under siege. When it became clear that he would be in the U.S. more or less permanently, he gave himself five years to master enough English to write fiction. He began writing in English in 1995 and is the author of The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, Love and Obstacles, and The Book of My Lives.
The Question of Bruno appeared on Best Books of 2000 lists nationwide, won several literary awards, and was published in eighteen countries. In addition, his work appears regularly in The New Yorker, Esquire, Granta, McSweeneys, Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories.
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Aleksandar Hemon discusses The Lazarus Project
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 dont 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. ...
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