Chicago Now: Aleksandar Hemon, Dmitry Samarov, Erika L. Sánchez, and the Contemporary City of Immigrants

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter explores the writing of Aleksandar Hemon, Dmitry Samarov, and Erika L. Sánchez as a process of carving out a personal space in the city. Their diverse literary output exemplifies the complexities of immigrant identity and its myriad dialogues with home, boundaries, and space. Hemon’s literature reveals a nuanced spatial-temporal sensitivity that establishes a multilayered and overlapping experience of Chicago and his native Sarajevo. Russian-born Samarov encounters Chicago through the window and rearview mirror of his taxi, observing the city and its inhabitants close-up yet from the sidelines. His unique perspective encompasses the immigrant outsider stance alongside an intimate insider knowledge, facilitating his tersely articulated and poignant vignettes of Chicago’s city- and human-scapes. Sánchez, second generation Mexican, boldly crosses restricting boundaries in her work, challenging constraints of family, community, neighborhood, and nation. By straddling a mixture of cultures, languages, genres, and themes, she cultivates her own distinctive space. Taken together, the writers offer a literary panoply of what it means to be an immigrant in Chicago today.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationChicago
Subtitle of host publicationA Literary History
EditorsFrederik Byrn Køhlert
Place of PublicationCambridge
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781108763738
ISBN (Print)9781108477512
StatePublished - 2021


  • Aleksandar Hemon
  • Dmitry Samarov
  • Erika L. Sánchez
  • Immigration
  • Border crossing
  • Spatial
  • Temporal
  • Taxi
  • Mexican
  • Mestiza


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