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John Freeman in coversation with Aleksandar Hemon
Join us as we celebrate the release of Freeman's Home anthology! Freeman's editor John Freeman will appear in conversation with local literary sensation and Home contributor Aleksandar Hemon.
John Freeman was the editor of Granta until 2013. His books include How to Read a Novelist and Tales of Two Cities: The Best of Times and Worst of Times in Today’s New York. Freeman won the 2007 James Patterson Pageturner Award for his work as the president of the National Book Critics. He is an executive editor at the Literary Hub and teaches at the New School. His work has appeared in the New Yorker, the New York Times, and the Paris Review.
Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and National Book Critics Circle Award, and three collections of short stories: The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Love and Obstacles, which will be published by Riverhead Books on May 14, 2009. Born in Sarajevo, Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for a matter of months. While he was there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He was awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2003 and a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004.His forthcoming book, Behind the Glass Wall: Inside the United Nations is due from Farrar, Straus & Giroux in December, 2017. He lives in Chicago with his wife and daughter.
The third literary anthology in the series that has been called “ambitious” (O Magazine) “strikingly international (Boston Globe), and “sure to become a classic” (San Francisco Chronicle), FREEMAN’S HOME, continues to push boundaries in diversity and scope, with stunning new pieces from emerging writers and literary luminaries alike.
As the refugee crisis continues to convulse whole swathes of the world and there are daily updates about the rise of homelessness in different parts of America, the idea and meaning of home is at the forefront of many peoples’ minds.
Viet Thanh Nguyen harks to an earlier age of displacement with a haunting piece of fiction about the middle passage made by those fleeing the Vietnam War. Rabih Alameddine brings us back to the present, as he leaves his mother’s Beirut apartment to connect with Syrian refugees who are building a semblance of normalcy in the face of great loss. Home can be a complicated place to claim, because of race—the everyday reality of which Danez Smith explores in a poem about a chance encounter at a bus stop. In “Vacationland,” Kerri Arsenault returns to her birthplace of Mexico, Maine, a paper mill boomtown turned ghost town, while Xiaolu Guo reflects on her childhood in a remote Chinese fishing village with grandparents who married across a cultural divide. Many readers and writers turn to literature to find a home: Leila Aboulela tells a story of obsession with a favorite author.
Also including Thom Jones, Emily Raboteau, Rawi Hage, Barry Lopez, Herta Müller, Amira Hass, and more writers from around the world who have lent their voices to the theme and what it means to build, leave, return to, lose, and love a home.