Bosnian writer, publicist and screenwriter Aleksandar Hemon won the "John Dos Passos" award for literature for 2020. It is the main literary award given each year by Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia.
Hemon is known for short stories and novels exploring issues of exile, identity, and home through characters drawn from his own experience with displacement. His works often deal with the Yugoslav wars, his native Bosnia or Chicago, which became his home when the war broke out in his country and he was granted political refugee status in the United States.
His most famous novels are “The Man Without a Past” and “Project Lazarus”.
The John Dos Passos Prize for Literature is the oldest literary award given by the College or University in Virginia. It is awarded to underappreciated writers whose work offers penetrating, original commentary on American themes, experiments with form, and encompasses a range of human experiences.
Hemon, currently a professor of creative writing at Princeton University, was shortlisted for six finalists nominated by jury members for the Dos Passos Award. The winner receives a fee and is traditionally read in the spring on the Longwood campus.