Exile and Instability for Refugees

October 9, 2013 | CUNY Lecture Series, Graduate Center

Two literary masters, Andre Aciman and Aleksander Hemon, discuss displacement, exile and memory at a Graduate Center event. “It’s so easy to expect that by virtue of being in the U.S. you have to be happy, but the transition is a traumatic experience,” says Hemon, a native of Bosnia, whose novel, “The Lazarus Project,” was a 2008 finalist for both the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for fiction. In a conversation with Egyptian-born Aciman, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at the Graduate Center, Hemon spoke about feelings of banishment from his own country. “Refugees are thrown out of their homes and can’t go back — this leads to a sense of perpetual instability.”