NABOKV-L post 0005354, Wed, 12 Jul 2000 08:36:05 -0700

Subject
VN & Aleksandar Hemon
Date
Body
If you heard the Morning Edition this morning, you probably heard their
segment on Aleksandar Hemon and his book _The Question of Bruno_. Hemon's
bios state that he was born in Sarajevo in 1964 and moved to Chicago in
1992 with only a basic command of English. He began writing in English in
1995, and his fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Granta, and Best
American Short Stories 1999.

The writer Hemon was compared to in the NPR segment -- and the writer he
himself acknowledges having read and studied once he chose to stay here
and write in English -- was, of course, Nabokov.

On the NPR website the segment is described as follows: "The Question of
Bruno -- NPR's Renee Montagne talks with Bosnian writer Aleksandar Hemon
about his book The Question of Bruno, written in English. The stories play
with the English language, using unconventional words or normal words in
unusual ways."

When asked how he feels about being compared to Nabokov, Hemon, rather
humbly and disarmingly, said that he was obviously flattered but was
not sure how Nabokov would have felt about such a comparison.

Here are other examples of the linking:

William Georgiades, Detour Magazine:

"Like Joseph Conrad and Vladimir Nabokov before him, Bosnian-born
Aleksandar Hemon is a gifted stylist in his adopted second language."

Stuart Dybek:

"To the elite ranks of writers from Eastern Europe--Conrad, Nabokov, and
Kosinski among them-- add the name of Aleksandar Hemon. Though compelled
by circumstance to emigrate from their native tongues, Hemon's predecessors
have, through the force of their intellects and unbowed imaginations,
exerted a transformational effect on literature in English. The Question
of Bruno promises no less."


Galya Diment