Aleksandar Hemon

The PEN/W.  G. Sebald Award for a Fiction Writer in Mid-Career honors an author who has published at least 3 significant works of literary fiction, either novels or short story collections, with the promise of more to come. The $10,000 prize was established by an anonymous donor to recognize a writer in his or her prime whose powerful and courageous writing honors the legacy of W. G. Sebald.

2011 Judges

Jill Ciment, Salvatore Scibona, Gary Shteyngart

From the Judges’ Citation

“Aleksandar Hemon has the stomach for tragedy. He also has the eye to find it in comic, commonplace, small, and peaceful things, even while the world around them is blowing apart amid crimes of historic scale. In his stories, the disaster of the Bosnian War—the murder of thousands, the displacement of millions—comes to us via the failure of beehives and a freezer chest. He is a writer unlike anyone, grave and hilarious and in effortless control of a wild instrument. His prose wakes us up to the joy of the wrong word that, in the hands of a genius, becomes the only true one. Hemon is the author of four books: The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, The Lazarus Project, and Love and Obstacles. We wait for more.”

Past Winners

The 2010 inaugural award went to Susan Choi, author of the books The Foreign Student, American Woman, and A Person of Interest.