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Nowhere Man: Book summary and reviews of Nowhere Man by Aleksandar Hemon

Nowhere Man

by Aleksandar Hemon

Nowhere Man by Aleksandar Hemon X
Nowhere Man by Aleksandar Hemon
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  • Published Sep 2002
    256 pages
    Genre: Literary Fiction

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Book Summary

This is what we know about Jozef Pronek: He is a young man from Sarajevo who left to visit the United States in 1992, just in time to watch war break out at home on TV. Stranded in the relative comfort of Chicago, he proves himself a charming and frankly perceptive observer of – and participant in – American life. With Nowhere Man, Pronek, accidental urban nomad, gets his own book.

Aleksandar Hemon lovingly crafts Pronek into a character who is sure to become an enduring literary icon. From the grand causes of his adolescence – principally, fighting to change the face of rock and roll and, hilariously, struggling to lose his virginity – up through a fleeting encounter with George Bush (the first) in Kiev, to enrollment in a Chicago ESL class and the glorious adventures of minimum-wage living, Pronek’s experiences are at once touchingly familiar and bracingly out-of-the-ordinary.

But the story of his life is not so simple as a series of global adventures. Pronek is continually haunted by an unseen observer, his movements chronicled by narrators with dubious motives – all of which culminates in a final episode that upends many of our assumptions about Pronek’s identity, while illustrating precisely what it means to be a Nowhere Man.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Pronek's constantly reconfiguring life makes the novel a wild, twisty read, and Hemon's inimitable voice and the wry urgency of his storytelling should cement his reputation as a talented young writer." - Publishers Weekly.

"Think of the gifted Hemon as a kinder and gentler - and infinitely funnier - Jerzy Kosinski. A wry, touching chronicle of the misadventures of a stranger in several strange lands. Don't miss it." - Kirkus Reviews.

"Hemon, who possesses a diabolical sense of humor and a wickedly visceral sensibility, and who handles English as though it were nitroglycerine, considers the precariousness of existence, the continual revision of identity and dreams that immigrant life demands, and the ever-present shadow of death." - Booklist.

This information about Nowhere Man 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

8 more...

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