Aleksandar Hemon

Aleksandar Hemon was born in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, in 1964. He graduated from the University of Sarajevo with a degree in literature in 1990, and by that point had published quite a few of his stories and articles in Yugoslavia. In 1992, he went to Chicago on what was planned as a short visit, but he was soon stranded in the U.S. as Sarajevo fell under siege. Hemon found himself unable to write in Serbo-Croatian. 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. One of his first stories, “Islands,” was published in Ploughshares and then reprinted in The Best American Short Stories 1999. Subsequent stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, Granta, and The Best American Short Stories 1999 and 2000. His collection of stories, The Question of Bruno (Nan A. Talese/Doubleday, May 2000) won the Ploughshares 2001 John C. Zacharis First Book Award. Hemon’s second book, Nowhere Man. is forthcoming from Nan A. Talese/Doubleday in September 2002.

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