The Chicago Wave

Chicagoist checks in with Aleksandar Hemon. His new novel, The Lazarus Project, is based in part on the true story of Lazarus Averbauch, a Jewish immigrant (and alleged anarchist) who was killed by Chicago police in 1908. Says Hemon, a Bosnian-born writer now living in Chicago:

[W]hat interests me as a writer is that displacement necessarily results in stories. On the one hand, you tell the story of the old land, wherever it is, whatever your attitude towards it is. But you also tell the stories to the people of the new land, and you define yourself to them. But you also tell the stories of your new land to yourself and you listen to stories of the new land to understand what it is. And then at some point you tell the stories of the new land to people from the old land. That’s very simplified (laughs). But it perpetuates stories, displacement. When you’re at home, if you’re telling stories with people you are with your whole life, then there are no new stories coming in. You keep telling the old stories. And as comforting as that can be, new stories come with displacement.

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