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Love And Obstacles At The Chicago Cultural Center

By Melissa Feldsher in Arts & Entertainment on May 28, 2009 7:15PM

Image courtesy of MTKR
Chicagoist fully admits we get a bit weak-kneed over Aleksandar Hemon, but the MacArthur Foundation genius stands alone with a spirited voice that embodying his adoptive city.

Having first arrived in Chicago in March 1992, Hemon’s brief visit turned into a decidedly longer sojourn as the war in Bosnia erupted. A former journalist in Sarajevo, Hemon was determined to write and publish a story in English—a distant second language—in five years. Supporting his writing by canvassing for Greenpeace and selling magazine subscriptions door to door, Hemon surpassed his goal by a landslide, eventually writing stories for The New Yorker and publishing The Lazarus Project , which was a National Book Award finalist.

Hemon’s most recent offering Love and Obstacles was actually written around the same time as Lazarus and further explores the growing pains and culture shock of an unnamed narrator in Chicago and the former Yugoslavia. Hear Hemon’s playful coinages in person when the author discusses the future of literature with Slate Group chairman Jacob Weisberg at the Chicago Cultural Center Tuesday June 2nd.

Aleksandar Hemon & Jacob Weisberg Discussion, Tuesday, June 2, Preston Bradley Hall, Chicago Cultural Center, 78 E. Washington, 6:00 p.m., Free.