Semezdin Mehmedinović was born in Tuzla, Bosnia in 1960, and was educated at the University of Sarajevo. In 1994, with five other Bosnian writers, he received the Hellman-Hammet Award from PEN for persistence in preserving democracy in the midst of war. Mehmedinović arrived in the United States as a political refugee in 1996. His books include Sarajevo Blues (1998) and Nine Alexandrias (2003). He currently lives in Alexandria, VA.