Synopses & Reviews
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
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 as one of the most dynamic and essential literary voices of our time.