Aleksandar Hemon: Can’t Stop, Won’t Stop

Last November, Mark Asch of L Magazine asked, “So Now Who’s Going to Run the Paris Review?”

“I’m assuming they’re hiring from outside rather than inside—should probably be a renowned writer in his or her own right, and well-connected in the American and European literary community; but also someone with experience in the world, through writing (as a critic, reader and editor) and as a traveler and/or reporter, with a wide-angle view of world politics and literature. Someone of both life and letters, basically.”

While myself and a few other folks offered up our own ideas as to who would take over the venerable magazine, Asch had one specific name in mind: Aleksandar Hemon.

I’ll admit that I’ve come into Hemon somewhat late.  I read a story of his a few years back, and just recently finished reading another of his books (the second so far),  but in the last few months, I’ve started to realize exactly why so many people hold the Bosnian born writer in such high regards.

Three examples are:

1. His brilliant story in the “Chicago” issue of Granta, “If God Existed, He’d be a Solid Midfielder”.

2. His recent conversation with Colum McCann in The Believer.

3.  Finally, editing Best European Fiction 2010, which 3:AM Magazine reviewed today.