Aleksandar Hemon

March 31

Aleksandar Hemon, the English-language writer, may be the only good thing to come out of the Balkan wars of the 1990s. He was a writer in Sarajevo before the war--we stole and adapted the motto of his Sarajevan magazine to occasionally call our paper "militantly Baltimorean"--and he probably would have been great no matter what, but he wouldn't have reinvigorated our language in the same way that Conrad or Nabokov did had he not come to Chicago for a cultural exchange right when the war broke out and ended up stuck here. Since his first book, "A Question of Bruno," came out at the turn of the century, he has been among the most powerful voices in English-language literature--adding a superb nonfiction collection to his oeuvre with "The Story of My Lives" in 2013. Later this year, he will release "The Making of Zombie Wars," which, you can bet, will not be your standard "The Walking Dead" knock-off. We like him so much, we wanted to have an interview this issue but the flacks over at Hopkins won't talk to us anymore (Hi, Jill!). But that shouldn't stop you from heading over to hear a brilliant writer talk. 6:30 p.m., Johns Hopkins University, Homewood Campus, 3400 N. Charles St., Mudd Hall 26, jhu.edu. (Baynard Woods)

Courtesy of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation
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