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Book summary and reviews of The Question of Bruno by Aleksandar Hemon

The Question of Bruno by Aleksandar Hemon

The Question of Bruno

by Aleksandar Hemon

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  •  Not Yet Rated
  • Published:
  • May 2000
    240 pages
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About this book

Book Summary

The Question of Bruno is a novella and stories that are linked by characters, by locations, by interwoven substories, and by a literary voice so strong and sensitive that no matter how many guises it adopts, the stories cannot help but gather momentum and join together as a powerfully inventive whole.

Set in Chicago and Sarajevo, it is a book about the trauma of war, about how an exile makes a new life in a new land. But above all it is a work of impressive range, stunning accomplishment, and deep humor. In the novella "Blind Jozef Pronek and Dead Souls," a young Sarajevan travels to the United States and decides to stay when he sees war break out at home on CNN--he goes on to experience a starkly contemporary version of "coming to America." In "The Sorge Spy Ring," a young boy in communist Yugoslavia becomes convinced his father is a spy because of the strange toys he brings back from Moscow.

Whether Hemon is writing of the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand or of a family trip to the beach, of an immigrant in the United States fired from a sandwich shop for an inability to distinguish between romaine and iceberg lettuce, or of the art of dodging sniper fire in a modern city under siege, he is both painfully funny and heartbreakingly sad. He writes with a wit, freshness, and true originality that prove him one of the most talented and skilled writers of his generation.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Generously endowed with pathos, humor and irony, and written in an off-balance, intoxicating English, this collection announces a talent reminiscent of the young Josef Skvorecky." - Publishers Weekly.

"This is the work of a rare talent who deserves our attention." - Library Journal.

"Fascinated with the meeting of memory and language, adept at conjuring states of mind, and haunted by the violence wracking his homeland, Hemon is a stoic tragedian and a brilliant satirist." - Booklist.

"Hemon's prose suffers occasionally from the overstudious diction of the non-native speaker, but he is clearly a writer of some promise." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Hemon is a maestro, a conjurer, a channeler of universes... As vivid prose as you will find anywhere this year." - Esquire Magazine.

"Before the comparisons to Nabokov and Conrad start coming (and odds are they'll come fast and furious), know this: Hemon is an original voice, and he has imagination and talent all his own. Grade A." - Entertainment Weekly.

"Aleksandar Hemon is a striking new voice in fiction. I admire his work tremendously." - Amy Tan.

This information about The Question of Bruno was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

Any "Author Information" displayed below reflects the author's biography at the time this particular book was published.

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Author Information

Aleksandar Hemon Author Biography

Photo: Sa Schloff

Aleksandar Hemon is the author of The Lazarus Project, which was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, and three books of short stories: The Question of Bruno; Nowhere Man, which was also a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Love and Obstacles. He was the recipient of a 2003 Guggenheim Fellowship and a "genius grant" from the MacArthur Foundation, and the 2020 Dos Passos Prize. He lives in Chicago.

Author Interview

Name Pronunciation
Aleksandar Hemon: HEH-mahn

Other books by Aleksandar Hemon at BookBrowse
  • The World and All That It Holds jacket
  • The Lazarus Project jacket

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