Nowhere Man

Nowhere Man

Aleksandar Hemon

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction

Aleksandar Hemon, author of The Question of Bruno, one of the most celebrated debuts in recent American fiction, returns with the mind- and language-bending adventures of his endearing protagonist Jozef Pronek. This is what we know about Jozef Pronek: He is a young man from Sarajevo who left to visit the United States in 1992, just in time to watch war break out at home on TV. Stranded in the relative comfort of Chicago, he proves himself a charming and frankly perceptive observer of – and participant in – American life. With Nowhere Man, Pronek, accidental urban nomad, gets his own book. Aleksandar Hemon lovingly crafts Pronek into a character who is sure to become an enduring literary icon. From the grand causes of his adolescence – principally, fighting to change the face of rock and roll and, hilariously, struggling to lose his virginity – up through a fleeting encounter with George Bush (the first) in Kiev, to enrollment in a Chicago ESL class and the glorious adventures of minimum-wage living, Pronek’s experiences are at once touchingly familiar and bracingly out-of-the-ordinary.But the story of his life is not so simple as a series of global adventures. Pronek is continually haunted by an unseen observer, his movements chronicled by narrators with dubious motives–all of which culminates in a final episode that upends many of our assumptions about Pronek’s identity, while illustrating precisely what it means to be a Nowhere Man.With all the literary verve of The Question of Bruno, but with an engrossing narrative, engaging warmth, and refreshing humor, Nowhere Man brings to life a protagonist whose very way of looking at and living in the world provokes an exhilarating sense of seeing everything new again. And all the while, the inspired freshness of the prose reminds the reader why Aleksandar Hemon earned such extraordinary recognition after just one book. Annotation: Nominated for the 2002 National Book Critics Circle Award, Fiction.
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Love and Obstacles

Love and Obstacles

Aleksandar Hemon

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction

Aleksandar Hemon earned his reputation and his MacArthur genius grantfor his short stories, and he returns to the form with a powerful collection of linked stories that stands with The Lazarus Project as the best work of his celebrated career. A few of the stories have never been published before; the others have appeared in The New Yorker, and several of those have also been included in The Best American Short Stories. All are infused with the dazzling, astonishingly creative prose and the remarkable, haunting autobiographical elements that have distinguished Hemon as one of the most original and illustrious voices of our time. What links the stories in Love and Obstacles is the narrator, a young man wholike Hemon himselfwas raised in Yugoslavia and immigrated to the United States. The stories of Love and Obstacles are about that coming of age and the complicationsthe obstaclesof growing up in a Communist but cosmopolitan country, and the disintegration of that country and the...
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The Making of Zombie Wars

The Making of Zombie Wars

Aleksandar Hemon

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction

The seriously, seriously funny roller-coaster ride of sex and violence that Aleksandar Hemon has long promisedScript idea #142: Aliens undercover as cabbies abduct the fiancée of the main character, who has to find a way to a remote planet to save her. Title: Love Trek.Script idea #185: Teenager discovers his girlfriend's beloved grandfather was a guard in a Nazi death camp. The boy's grandparents are survivors, but he's tantalizingly close to achieving deflowerment, so when a Nazi hunter arrives in town in pursuit of Grandpa, he has to distract him long enough to get laid. A riotous Holocaust comedy. Title: The Righteous Love.Script idea #196: Rock star high out of his mind freaks out during a show, runs offstage, and is lost in streets crowded with his hallucinations. The teenage fan who finds him keeps the rock star for himself for the night. Mishaps and adventures follow. This one could be a musical: Singin' in the...
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The Lazarus Project

The Lazarus Project

Aleksandar Hemon

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction

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.Amazon.com ReviewAmazon 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 ParsonsFrom Publishers WeeklyStarred Review. MacArthur genius Hemon in his third book (after Nowhere Man) intelligently unpacks 100 years' worth of immigrant disillusion, displacement and desperation. As fears of the anarchist movement roil 1908 Chicago, the chief of police guns down Lazarus Averbuch, an eastern European immigrant Jew who showed up at the chief's doorstep to deliver a note. Almost a century later, Bosnian-American writer Vladimir Brik secures a coveted grant and begins working on a book about Lazarus; his research takes him and fellow Bosnian Rora, a fast-talking photographer whose photos appear throughout the novel, on a twisted tour of eastern Europe (there are brothel-hotels, bouts of violence, gallons of coffee and many fabulist stories from Rora) that ends up being more a journey into their own pasts than a fact-finding mission. Sharing equal narrative duty is the story of Olga Averbuch, Lazarus's sister, who, hounded by the police and the press (the Tribune reporter is especially vile), is faced with another shock: the disappearance of her brother's body from his potter's grave. (His name, after all, was Lazarus.) Hemon's workmanlike prose underscores his piercing wit, and between the murders that bookend the novel, there's pathos and outrage enough to chip away at even the hardest of hearts. (May) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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Best European Fiction 2010

Best European Fiction 2010

Aleksandar Hemon

Literature & Fiction / Nonfiction

Historically, English-language readers have been great fans of European literature, and names like Franz Kafka, Gustave Flaubert, and Thomas Mann are so familiar we hardly think of them as foreign at all. What those writers brought to English-language literature was a wide variety of new ideas, styles, and ways of seeing the world. Yet times have changed, and how much do we even know about the richly diverse literature being written in Europe today? Best European Fiction 2010 is the inaugural installment of what will become an annual anthology of stories from across Europe. Edited by acclaimed Bosnian novelist and MacArthur "Genius-Award" winner Aleksandar Hemon, and with dozens of editorial, media, and programming partners in the U.S., UK, and Europe, the Best European Fiction series will be a window onto what's happening right now in literary scenes throughout Europe, where the next Kafka, Flaubert, or Mann is waiting to be discovered. List of...
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