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Nowhere Man

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Paperback published by Vintage (Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group)

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About This Book
A native of Sarajevo, where he spends his adolescence trying to become Bosnia’s answer to John Lennon, Jozef Pronek comes to the United States in 1992—just in time to watch war break out in his country, but too early to be a genuine refugee. Indeed, Jozef’s typical answer to inquiries about his origins and ethnicity is, “I am complicated.”

And so he proves to be—not just to himself, but to the revolving series of shadowy but insightful narrators who chart his progress from Sarajevo to Chicago; from a hilarious encounter with the first President Bush to a somewhat more grave one with a heavily armed Serb whom he has been hired to serve with court papers. Moving, disquieting, and exhilarating in its virtuosity, Nowhere Man is the kaleidoscopic portrait of a magnetic young man stranded in America by the war in Bosnia.
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A native of Sarajevo, where he spends his adolescence trying to become Bosnia’s answer to John Lennon, Jozef Pronek comes to the United States in 1992—just in time to watch war break out in his country, but too early to be a genuine refugee. Indeed, Jozef’s typical answer to inquiries about his origins and ethnicity is, “I am complicated.”

And so he proves to be—not just to himself, but to the revolving series of shadowy but insightful narrators who chart his progress from Sarajevo to Chicago; from a hilarious encounter with the first President Bush to a somewhat more grave one with a heavily armed Serb whom he has been hired to serve with court papers. Moving, disquieting, and exhilarating in its virtuosity, Nowhere Man is the kaleidoscopic portrait of a magnetic young man stranded in America by the war in Bosnia.
Product Details
Paperback (256 pages)
Published: January 6, 2004
Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
Imprint: Vintage
ISBN: 9780375727023
Other books byAleksandar Hemon
  • The Question of Bruno

    The Question of Bruno
    Stories
    In this stylistically adventurous, brilliantly funny tour de force-the most highly acclaimed debut since Nathan Englander's-Aleksander Hemon writes of love and war, Sarajevo and America, with a skill and imagination that are breathtaking. A love affair is experienced in the blink of an eye as the Archduke Ferdinand watches his wife succumb to an assassin's bullet. An exiled writer, working in a sandwich shop in Chicago, adjusts to the absurdities of his life. Love letters from war torn Sarajevo navigate the art of getting from point A to point B without being shot. With a surefooted sense of detail and life-saving humor, Aleksandar Hemon examines the overwhelming events of history and the effect they have on individual lives. These heartrending stories bear the unmistakable mark of an important new international writer.

    The Lazarus Project

    The Lazarus Project
    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.  

    The Tenants

    The Tenants
    With a new introduction by Aleksandar Hemon In The Tenants (1971), Bernard Malamud brought his unerring sense of modern urban life to bear on the conflict between blacks and Jews then inflaming his native Brooklyn. The sole tenant in a rundown tenement, Henry Lesser is struggling to finish a novel, but his solitary pursuit of the sublime grows complicated when Willie Spearmint, a black writer ambivalent toward Jews, moves into the building. Henry and Willie are artistic rivals and unwilling neighbors, and their uneasy peace is disturbed by the presence of Willie's white girlfriend Irene and the landlord Levenspiel's attempts to evict both men and demolish the building. This novel's conflict, current then, is perennial now; it reveals the slippery nature of the human condition, and the human capacity for violence and undoing.

    Love and Obstacles

    Love and Obstacles
    From the celebrated author of the bestselling Lazarus Project "a dazzling collection of stories ... further cementing [Hemon's] position among the finest fiction writers working in English" (GQ). The stories of Aleksandar Hemon's Love and Obstacles are united by their narrator, a young man coming of age in Communist-but-cosmopolitan Sarajevo who will leave for the United States just as his city is torn asunder. In Hemon's hands, seemingly mundane childhood experiences become daring, dramatic adventures, while unique and wrenching circumstances become a common ground that involves us all. As cohesive and impressive as any novel, the short story collection Love and Obstacles stands with the National Book Award finalist The Lazarus Project as the best work of this MacArthur Genius Award winner's career. From the author of The Book of My Lives.  

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • Als ik had gedroomd dan was ik in die droom niet mezelf geweest maar een klein wezentje in mijn binnenste, krabbelend aan de wand van mijn borstholte - een terugkerende nachtmerrie.

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