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. Read more...
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."
The Lazarus Project
Nominated for the 2008 National Book Award, this is the third work of fiction from Aleksandar Hemon, a gifted Bosnian writer who has lived in the U.S. since 1992. In this innovative novel, he focuses on the real-life murder of a young Jewish immigrant named Lazarus Averbuch. Averbuch, who came from Eastern Europe, was shot by George Shippy, chief of the Chicago police, in 1908. The details about the murder are murky, although Shippy insisted that Averbuch was a violent anarchist. From this incident, Hemon fast-forwards to present-day Chicago, where Vladimir Brik, a Bosnian transplant, lives and works as a writer. When Brik gets financial backing to go to Europe and learn more about Averbuch, he embarks on the journey of a lifetime. Accompanied by Rora, a Bosnian photographer whose images are featured throughout the narrative, Brik makes some surprising discoveries about himself and his past. Hemon skillfully weaves these narrative strands together to form an unforgettable work. Beautifully written and smartly constructed, it's a poignant, often funny look at the ways in which the past informs the present. Hemon's pleasurably complex novela wonderful blend of history and fictionwill challenge and reward readers.