In two collections of stories, The Question of Bruno and the NBCC-finalist Nowhere Man, Aleksandar Hemon has earned unmatched literary acclaim and a reputation as one of the English language’s most original and moving wordsmiths. In The Lazarus Project, Hemon has turned these talents to an embracing novel that intertwines haunting historical atmosphere and detail with sharp and shimmering—sometimes hilarious, sometimes heartbreaking—contemporary storytelling.
On March 2, 1908, nineteen-year-old Lazarus Averbuch, a recent Jewish immigrant from Eastern Europe to Chicago, knocked on the front door of the house of George Shippy, the chief of Chicago police. When Shippy came to the door, Averbuch offered him what he said was an important letter. Instead of taking the letter, Shippy shot Averbuch twice, killing him. When Shippy released a statement casting Averbuch as a would-be anarchist assassin and agent of foreign political operatives, he all but set off a city and a country already simmering with ethnic and political tensions.
Now, in the twenty-first century, a young writer in Chicago, Brik, also from Eastern Europe, becomes obsessed with Lazarus’s story—what really happened, and why? In order to understand Averbuch, Brik and his friend Rora—who overflows with stories of his life as a Sarajevo war photographer—retrace Averbuch’s path across Eastern Europe, through a history of pogroms and poverty, and through a present-day landscape of cheap mafiosi and cheaper prostitutes. The stories of Averbuch and Brik become inextricably entwined, augmented by the photographs that Rora takes on their journey, creating a truly original, provocative, and entertaining novel that will confirm Hemon once and for all as one of the most dynamic and essential literary voices of our time.
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Amazon Best of the Month, May 2008: America has a richer literary landscape since Aleksandar Hemon, stranded in the United States in 1992 after war broke out in his native Sarajevo, adopted Chicago as his new home. He completed his first short story within three years of learning to write in English, and since then his work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, and The Paris Review and in two acclaimed books, The Question of Bruno and Nowhere Man. In The Lazarus Project, his most ambitious and imaginative work yet, Hemon brings to life an epic narrative born from a historical event: the 1908 killing of Lazarus Averbuch, a 19-year-old Jewish immigrant who was shot dead by George Shippy, the chief of Chicago police, after being admitted into his home to deliver an important letter. The mystery of what really happened that day remains unsolved (Shippy claimed Averbuch was an anarchist with ill intent) and from this opening set piece Hemon springs a century ahead to tell the story of Vladimir Brik, a Bosnian-American writer living in Chicago who gets funding to travel to Eastern Europe and unearth what really happened. The Lazarus Project deftly weaves the two stories together, cross-cutting the aftermath of Lazarus's death with Brik's journey and the tales from his traveling partner, Rora, a Bosnian war photographer. And while the novel will remind readers of many great books before it--Ragtime, The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay, Everything Is Illuminated--it is a masterful literary adventure that manages to be grand in scope and intimate in detail. It's an incredibly rewarding reading experience that's not to be missed. --Brad Thomas ParsonsAbout the Author:
Aleksandar Hemonis the author ofTheLazarus Project,Love and Obstacles,The Question of Bruno,Nowhere ManandThe Book of MyLives. He has been the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a MacArthur Genius Award, the Jan Michalski Prize for Literature, the PEN/W. G. Sebald Award, and, most recently, a 2012 USA Fellowship. He lives in Chicago.
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Book Description Riverhead Books (New York), 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition, fifth printing. Hardbound. Brand new! Very Fine in a very fine dust jacket. A tight, clean copy, new and unread. Comes with archival-quality mylar dust jacket protector. NOT price clipped. Bookseller Inventory # SALE-fiction-144
Book Description Riverhead Books, New York, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: Very Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Very Fine. First Edition - First Printing. 8vo - over 7¾ - 9¾" tall. First edition, first printing with a full number line starting with a 1. A very fine and unread copy in a very fine dust jacket in a clear removable protective cover. SIGNED by the author on the title page and dated 5/2/08. Not inscribed, price clipped or otherwise marked. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # 011333
Book Description Riverhead Books (New York), 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition. First printing. Hardbound. NEW! A pristine unread copy in dust jacket, very fine/very fine in all respects. Comes with mylar jacket protector. Purchased new and never opened. Shipped in well padded box. Smoke-free, no marks, no bruises, etc. Bookseller Inventory # 1110-88
Book Description Putnam Juvenile, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 1594489882
Book Description New York, New York, U.S.A.: Riverhead Books, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition, first printing. SIGNED (signature only) by the author on the title page. A new, clean and tight, unmarked and unread book in a new, clean and bright dust jacket. NO chips or tears. NOT price-clipped. NO REMAINDER MARKS. NOT the book club edition. NOT an ex-library book. New/New. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # ABE-4801895540
Book Description Paris, Robert Laffont, 2010, 2010. Book Condition: Neuf. 14x22cm, 382pp. Etat neuf car service de presse. Quelques illustrations noir et blanc. Livre d'occasion. Bookseller Inventory # 43512
Book Description Riverhead/Harper Collins, NY, 2008. Hard Cover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition, 1st Impression. As new in as new DJ covered with protective clear 'brodart' DJ cover. National Book Award Nominee. Unread, tight, clean copy. Signed by author on FULL TITLE page. Autograph guaranteed authentic. Purchased DIRECT FROM PUBLISHER as SIGNED. Ask for pictures if interested. May have minor bumping from 'the boys in brown' from shipping. Signed by Author. Bookseller Inventory # 191678
Book Description Putnam Juvenile, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P111594489882
Book Description Riverhead Books (New York), 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st Edition. First edition. First printing. Hardbound. New/New. A pristine unread copy, very fine in all respects. SIGNED and dated BY AUTHOR on title page in May 2008, the month of publication. Comes with archival-quality mylar dust jacket protector. All books shipped in sturdy boxes. Smoke-free enviornment. Purchased new and opened only for author to sign. LAZARUS PROJECT was a finalist for the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Awards, and was New York magazine's number one Book of the Year. Signed by Author(s). Bookseller Inventory # mfm0608-67
Book Description Putnam Juvenile, 2008. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1594489882 Author Signed Hardcover Book. 2008 NY: Penguin First edition, first printing, mint, new/unread in a flawless dust jacket, signed by the author. Each dust jacket is protected in an acid-free archival quality acetate cover. Bookseller Inventory # HEMLAZA01