The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

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Synopsis

The only novel from MacArthur Genius Award winner, Aleksandar Hemon -- the National Book Critics Circle Award winning The Lazarus Project.

On March 2, 1908, nineteen-year-old Lazarus Averbuch, an Eastern European Jewish immigrant, was shot to death on the doorstep of the Chicago chief of police and cast as a would-be anarchist assassin.

A century later, a young Eastern European writer in Chicago named Brik becomes obsessed with Lazarus's story. Brik enlists his friend Rora-a war photographer from Sarajevo-to join him in retracing Averbuch's path.

Through a history of pogroms and poverty, and a prism of a present-day landscape of cheap mafiosi and even cheaper prostitutes, the stories of Averbuch and Brik become inextricably intertwined, creating a truly original, provocative, and entertaining novel that confirms Aleksandar Hemon, often compared to Vladimir Nabokov, as one of the most dynamic and essential literary voices of our time.

From the author of The Book of My Lives.
 

About Aleksandar Hemon

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Born in Sarajevo, Aleksandar Hemon visited Chicago in 1992, intending to stay for a matter of months. While he was there, Sarajevo came under siege, and he was unable to return home. Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. His work now appears regularly in The New Yorker, Granta, The Paris Review, and Best American Short Stories. He is the author of The Question of Bruno and Nowhere Man, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. Hemon was awarded a “genius grant” from the MacArthur Foundation in 2004. Riverhead will publish Hemon’s next book, Love and Obstacles, in 2009.
 
Published January 1, 2009 by riverhead. 316 pages
Genres: History, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Lazarus Project

The New York Times

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This novel’s hero is obsessed with an immigrant who died in 1908.

May 25 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

The Guardian

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Chicago, 1908: Lazarus Averbuch, a young Ukrainian Jew fleeing a pogrom in his homeland, is shot dead while delivering a letter to the chief of police.

Aug 28 2009 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

The Guardian

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The journey, intercut with the Lazarus story (and illustrated by some Sebaldesque photographs), gives Brik an opportunity to improvise on whatever subject he feels like talking about - war, history, America, his unravelling marriage, the blighted landscapes and seedy hotel rooms they pass through...

Sep 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

The Telegraph

Brik half-heartedly begins to research Lazarus's story and, almost by accident, he wins a grant to continue his writing, and sets off with an acquaintance from Bosnia to Chisinau, in Moldova, from where Lazarus emigrated, and from there the two drift south to Sarajevo.

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

The Telegraph

Immigrant life often demands a kind of self-refashioning or rebirth, and Aleksandar Hemon's melancholy new novel, The Lazarus Project, takes up this theme on various levels.

Sep 12 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

San Francisco Chronicle

"I had no choice but to remember just minuscule fragments," the writer Vladimir Brik admits of his impossible undertaking in Aleksandar Hemon's momentous third book of fiction, "The Lazarus Project," "well aware that in no future would I be able to reconstruct the whole out of them."

May 05 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

Scotsman.com

Ironically, the book becomes a symptom of the most mirthless aspect of the postmodern: a pastiche of the postmodern novel.

Aug 23 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

Bookmarks Magazine

Andrew Ervin Seattle Times 3.5 of 5 Stars "With the Lazarus story line, which is believed to closely follow actual historical events, he’s done a convincing job.

Apr 29 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

New York Magazine

(To further complicate things, Hemon apparently actually made this trip, along with his best friend, who is actually a photographer and whose photos of the trip are reprinted in the book along with historical photos of Lazarus himself.) ...

May 04 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

Esquire

His latest, The Lazarus Project (Riverhead, $25), hangs upon two linked narratives -- the death of Lazarus Averbuch, a turn-of-the-century Jewish immigrant to Chicago who is killed in a wash of bullets, and a contemporary Bosnian immigrant to Chicago who sets out to write Averbuch's tragic story.

May 02 2008 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

California Literary Review

As Brik and Rora travel through a surreal underworld of Eastern European crime gangs, brothels, and 24-hour supermarkets, Rora, who lived in Sarajevo during the siege, tells horror stories about his dubious dealings with a gangster named Rambo and his passages in and out of Sarajevo through the f...

Feb 11 2009 | Read Full Review of The Lazarus Project

Reader Rating for The Lazarus Project
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