The Lazarus Project by Aleksandar Hemon - review by John Dugdale

John Dugdale

Everything Is Replicated

The Lazarus Project

By

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Jonathan Safran Foer’s Everything is Illuminated (2002), in which the narrator searches for a survivor of a Nazi atrocity, was the first of a series of recent American novels that can be called ‘Passages to Russia’ – partly or wholly set in countries that formerly belonged to the USSR. Their authors can look to Vladimir Nabokov’s fiction as a model for bringing America and Russia together, but these works – boisterous satires or picaresque yarns, with earthy black comedy the norm – could hardly be more different from his elaborate artificial constructions.

Lillian, the heroine of Amy Bloom’s Away, comes to 1920s New York after seeing her family murdered in a pogrom but, on learning her that daughter also survived, travels westwards to the Pacific with the aim of rejoining her in Russia. Gary Shteyngart’s Absurdistan centres on Misha, the American-educated son

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