کتاب مردی از ناکجا

اثر الکساندر همن از انتشارات افق - مترجم: لیلا نصیری ها-برندگان جوایز ادبی

Following his critically acclaimed short story collection, The Question of Bruno, Aleksandar Hemons debut novel Nowhere Man confirms that an important new voice has arrived. Unlike other Eastern European coming-of-age novels, Nowhere Man bucks chronological order, spanning the 1990s and sometimes reading like a memoir. Jozef Pronek, who grew up dreaming of hitting it big with his Beatles cover band, wanders through his adopted Chicago while the Bosnia conflict rages on, working as a process server and for Greenpeace, where he meets his girlfriend, Rachel. Jozef spends time in Kiev with American graduate students, such as the uncannily depicted Will, "blonde and suburbanly ... [as if his] family procreated by fission," and Vivian, "pale and in need of a carrot or something." He rooms with Victor Plavchuk, a conflicted doctoral student in literature who develops a crush on Jozef (and who is reminiscent of a subdued Charles Kinbote from Vladimir Nabokovs Pale Fire). Jozef is sublimely complex, embodying the listlessness and frank practicality of expatriates whose homeland is being shredded by violent conflict. Jozef wonders, "Why couldnt he be more than one person? Why was he stuck in the middle of himself, hungry and tired?" while a woman "[keeps] her hands in the pockets of her formerly blue jacket, as if despair were a marble in her pocket." Hemons wit is also present: "The only thing that distinguished Pronek in school was that he never, ever volunteered to do anything." Nowhere Man is a somber, saddening, yet vibrant and warm debut novel. --Michael Ferch


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