When the critics compare a new author to Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov you have to pay attention.
Thirty-five year old Aleksandar Hemon is the recipient of those accolades — and attention is being paid. Like Conrad and Nabokov, Hemon, born in Bosnia, did not grow up speaking English. He didn’t begin to write in English until 1995. He might never have written in English at all if he hadn’t had to flee his hometown Sarajevo in 1992.
Hemon’s stories stand as witness to the horrors of the Bosnian Civil War and the reality of being an immigrant, an exile, a refugee in modern America — a reality that is different than it used to be because today you can watch your hometown being bombed to smithereens on CNN in real time. His stories are also like the best work about grim subjects — savagely funny.
(Hosted by Michael Goldfarb)