Monday, 1 September 2008

Book of the week and Bibliography - Aleksander Hemon, The Lazarus Project

The Lazarus Project is the second novel by Aleksandar Hemon. Hemon was born in Sarajevo in 1964 and Graduated from University of Sarajevo in 1990. In 1992, he arrived in Chicago on what was planned to be a short visit, but he was soon stranded in the U.S. as Sarajevo fell under siege. When it became clear that he would be in the U.S. more or less permanently, he gave himself five years to master enough English to write fiction. He has subsequently earned widespread literary acclaim, and has been hailed as a major international writer. Of course, this is still early in his career, but it is probably a good time to seek out signed first editions of all of his books.

On 2 March 1908, nineteen-year-old Lazarus Averbuch, a Russian Jewish immigrant to Chicago, tried to deliver a letter to the home of the city's Chief of Police, George Shippy. Instead of taking the letter, Shippy shot Averbuch twice, killing him. Lazarus Averbuch, Shippy claimed, was an anarchist assassin and an agent of foreign operatives who wanted to bring the United States to its knees. His sister, Olga, was left alone and bereft in a city - and country - seething with political and ethnic tensions. In the twenty-first century, Brik, a young Bosnian writer in Chicago, becomes obsessed with finding out the truth of what happened to Lazarus. And so Brik and his friend Rora, a charming and unreliable photographer, set off on a journey back to Lazarus Averbuch's birthplace, through a history of pogroms and poverty and a present of gangsters and prostitutes.


The Question of Bruno (2000, Doubleday, USA ;Picador, UK)
Nowhere Man (2002, Doubleday, USA; 2003, Picador, UK)
The Lazarus Project (2008, Riverhead, USA; Picador, UK)
Love and Obstacles (2009, Riverhead, USA; Picador,UK)

Other books

The Drawer (2004, Lenox Hill Bookshop, New York, USA; 200 copies signed by author)
A Coin (2006, Picador Shots, UK)

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