Thursday, November 6, 2014

Hemon in Chicago

Because I'm teaching The Lazarus Project right now, I googled Aleksandar Hemon and arrived at an article on his love of his adopted city of Chicago. Although back in Sarajevo his parents were technical people, urban, affluent STEM-folk, Hemon had a humble start in America's "somber city":


With just $300 in his pocket, the young man was forced to scramble for odd jobs—waiter, Greenpeace canvasser—while managing his fear and longing for Sarajevo. He set about learning Chicago by walking its neighborhoods. “Pullman, Beverly, Lakeview, and then the Parks—Hyde, Lincoln, Rogers,” he writes in The Book of My Lives. “I began to sort out the geography of Chicagoland, assembling a street map in my mind, building by building, door by door . . . I was a low-wage, immigrant flaneur.”

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