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Original Essays | September 30, 2014

Brian Doyle: IMG The Rude Burl of Our Masks

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    Children and Other Wild Animals

    Brian Doyle 9780870717543

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The Lazarus Project


The Lazarus Project Cover




"SOLO is a wonder--an exploration of memory, a window on a country and region mysterious to the West even in the twentieth century, a keen study of human love and failure." 

- Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian Solo is "bold, enigmatic, and thought-provoking. ... a richly imagined world... Lucid prose and a narrative scheme both demanding and inchoate reveal a writer beginning to deploy his considerable powers. "

-Publishers Weekly, starred "Intricate and imaginative, a remarkable novel of music and science, politics and passion, that bridges history and modern times. [...] Graceful and unpredictable, a daring and exceptional achievement."

-Kirkus Reviews, starred "A novel of exceptional, astonishing strangeness, Solo confirms Rana Dasgupta as the most unexpected and original Indian writer of his generation." 

- Salman Rushdie  "The sedimentary structurelayering stories of opportunity and oppressionmakes Solo a double pleasure: readers can enjoy Dasguptas imagination but must also confront problems of celebrity and commerce. Part historical fiction, part heartbreak, part pop culture; think Aleksandar Hemon."

- Library Journal "With an intriguing bifurcated storytelling device, this is a novel of dazzling ideas and emotion in which Dasgupta comes to astonishingly beautiful and original conclusions about love, loss, and aging, and his protagonist realizes 'There is far more to us than what we live.'"

- Booklist

"SOLO is a wonder--an exploration of memory, a window on a country and region mysterious to the West even in the twentieth century, a keen study of human love and failure." 

- Elizabeth Kostova, author of The Historian

"Utterly unforgettable in its humanity."

- The Guardian (UK) "This gloriously eccentric adventure through a century of Bulgarian history is so much fun to read you'll hardly realise how much you're learning . . . Dasgupta colourfully weaves Ulrich's passions for art, science and his best friend's sister through the two world wars (did you know that, although forced to join the fascist bloc, Tsar Boris III refused to hand over Bulgaria's Jews to Hitler?), the fall of the Bulgarian royal family and the rise of communism. . . . weird, wonderful and warmly wise stuff." 

- The Daily Mail (UK)   "Bearing in mind that Dasgupta is a British-Asian author writing about a 100-year-old, blind Bulgarian born at the dawn of the 20th century, it is perhaps unsurprising to learn that one of the most notable features of his often beguiling novel is its quivering air of otherness. Confined to his decrepit Sofia home, the hero, Ulrich, begins a soaring flight of the imagination that explores both his past and his country's. . . For as long as the spell remains unbroken, it is worth every second." 

- The Sunday Times (UK)

"What a delight to find a novelist unfazed by the 21st century ... This is an important work." 

-The Australian "Solo is a nuanced and virtuoso performance." 

- Scotland on Sunday

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josierae, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by josierae)
Hemon has created an intricate and thoughtful documentary novel, combining photographs and fictional narrative to investigate the temporal and geographic connections that link people and experiences. Weaving together the story of an early 20th century Chicago murder alongside the tentative friendship between two contemporary Bosnian exiles, Hemon's characters travel from Chicago to Ukraine to Sarajevo. Part detective novel, part buddy road trip, part history of violence and genocide, The Lazarus Project is an exhilarating read that intelligently illustrates the complexities of immigration and exile and the subsequent longings for a past and a home that no longer exist. A beautiful and haunting and unforgettable novel.
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Product Details

Hemon, Aleksandar
Riverhead Books
Bozovic, Velibor
DasGupta, Rana
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
from 12
8 x 5.31 in 1 lb
Age Level:

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

The Lazarus Project Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
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Product details 304 pages Riverhead Books - English 9781594483752 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

The Lazarus Project, Hemon's latest novel, is about storytelling, the nature of memory and reality, and America's relationship to the rest of the world, both past and present. It's blackly funny, crackling with intelligence, and populated by realistic, fascinating characters.

"Review" by , "A profoundly moving novel... A literary page-turner that combines narrative momentum with meditations on identity and mortality.
"Review" by , "Hemon's writing sometimes reminds one of Nabokovs... yet the feat of his reinvention exceeds the Russian's."
"Review" by , "Remarkable, and remarkably entertaining."
"Review" by , "A physical, historical, and pre-eminently psychological journey."
"Synopsis" by , The much anticipated novel from MacArthur Award-winning writer Hemon is a story of historical sweep and contemporary insight crafted in a dazzlingly original style. Illustrated.
"Synopsis" by ,
With an imaginative audacity and lyrical brilliance that puts him in the company of David Mitchell and Aleksandar Hemon, Rana Dasgupta paints a portrait of a century though the story of a hundred-year-old blind Bulgarian man in a first novel that announces the arrival of an exhilarating new voice in fiction.

In the first movement of Solo we meet Ulrich, the son of a railroad engineer, who has two great passions: the violin and chemistry. Denied the first by his father, he leaves for the Berlin of Einstein and Fritz Haber to study the latter. His studies are cut short when his fathers fortune evaporates, and he must return to Sofia to look after his parents. He never leaves Bulgaria again. Except in his daydreamsand it is those dreams we enter in the volatile second half of the book. In a radical leap from past to present, from life lived to life imagined, Dasgupta follows Ulrichs fantasy children, born of communism but making their way into a post-communist world of celebrity and violence.

Intertwining science and heartbreak, the old world and the new, the real and the imagined, Solo is a virtuoso work.


"Synopsis" by ,
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.


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