Arts & Culture

I Can’t Believe They Aren’t Jewish: Aleksandar Hemon

Hemon’s 2008 book, The Lazarus Project juxtaposed the stories of a murdered Jewish immigrant in the early 20th Century, with the tale of a Bosnian-born reporter attempting tell the tale of the slain man nearly a century later.  The outcome … Read More

By / February 26, 2010

Hemon’s 2008 book, The Lazarus Project juxtaposed the stories of a murdered Jewish immigrant in the early 20th Century, with the tale of a Bosnian-born reporter attempting tell the tale of the slain man nearly a century later.  The outcome was one of the finest books of the last five years.  Like the narrator of the book, Hemon was born in Sarajevo, and escaped his homeland right before the destruction caused during the countries war in the 1990′s.  In Hemon’s writing, you get a feeling of a new kind of diaspora, and a sense of immigrant detachment that makes it seem all the more real when Hemon decides to take on a Jewish subject.  While writers like Gary Shteyngart tend to take a more comical take on the new-immigrant experience, Hemon is something of a master of telling the tales of the existential crisis’ that new Americans face. This week, over at The Browser, Hemon showed once again his connection to Jewish culture; discussing books by Primo Levi and Isaac Babel.