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The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

The Lazarus Project

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Sarah Broadhurst's view...

August 2009 Book of the Month.

A Bosnian, living in Chicago with his American wife, stumbles on an old news story about the death of Lazarus, a Jewish immigrant at the beginning of the twentieth century. He becomes intrigued, obtains a literary grant and with a photographer friend goes to Bosnia to trace Lazarus’ roots. Bosnia now, as then, is a dog-eat-dog place, grim and full of bigotry and fear. This is a circular tale with history repeating itself, a bleak, intelligent novel from a dynamic author much praised by the literary world.

Comparison: Dina Mengestu (Children of the Revolution), Mohsin Hamid (The Reluctant Fundamentalist), Andrei Makine (Human Love).

Who is Sarah Broadhurst


The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon

On 2 March 1908, Lazarus Averbuch, a young Russian Jewish immigrant to Chicago, tried to deliver a letter to the city’s Chief of Police. He was shot dead.

After the shooting, it was claimed he 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 seething with tension.

A century later, two friends become obsessed with the truth about Lazarus and decide to travel to his birthplace. As the stories intertwine, a world emerges in which everything and nothing has changed . . .


'Prose this powerful could wake the dead' Observer

'This is easily Hemon’s best work to date, an intricately tessellated portrait of flight, emigration, and the meaning of home' Evening Standard

About the Author

Born in Sarajevo, Aleksandar Hemon wrote his first story in English in 1995. He is the author The Question of Bruno, Nowhere Man, and a new collection of stories, Love and Obstacles. He lives in Chicago.

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Book Info

Publication date

7th August 2009


Aleksandar Hemon

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Pan Macmillan


304 pages


Literary Fiction
Books of the Month
Reading Groups
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)



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