The 1908 shooting of 19-year-old immigrant Lazarus Averbuch is the main conflict of Aleksandar Hemon’s award winning novel.
His presentation on campus gives readers the opportunity to ask the author questions they had since they flipped to the final page.
On Nov. 15, NMU will be hosting Aleksandar Hemon, author of “The Lazarus Project,” as part of One Book, One Community project for this year.
At 2 p.m., Hemon will be hosting a Q and A session in Jamrich Room 102.
Then, at 7 p.m., Hemon will speak about his novel and read from a section of it.
A book rich in mystery and drama, “The Lazarus Project” was the selected book for Marquette’s One Book, One Community by a group of Marquette community members and NMU students.
Phyllis Wong, a member of One Book, One Community, said she is excited for Hemon’s visit to Marquette.
“This event is important because it brings together Northern Michigan University and Marquette county readers together through a common book,” Wong said.
One Book, One Community started in 2006. Previous books have been from all genres and the committee deals with the huge task of selecting a book that will appeal to all different ages and backgrounds.
Previous selections have been Mary Doria Russel’s “The Sparrow,” Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried” and Carlos Ruiz Zafon’s “The Shadow of the Wind.”
“This book was chosen because Aleksander Hemon is considered an up-and-coming author,” Wong said. “The Lazarus Project is a story of a time and place unfamiliar to many, so the committee was interested in exposing people to a different time and place.”
One Book, One Community’s goals are to foster a sense of community on campus and throughout Marquette and to introduce more students into community life with the help of a common book.
“I encourage all NMU students to attend the talk by Mr. Hemon,” Wong said. “He is a thought-provoking writer and thinker, who creates places where all readers can enter, each bringing their own ideas and influences.”
Wong said it is always interesting to speak to people who have had different experiences.
She said she has been thinking about this and has a few questions of her own for Hemon.
“I would like to ask Mr. Hemon in what ways his jobs as a Greenpeace canvasser, a sandwich assembly-line worker, and a bike messenger influenced his writing,” Wong said.“I’d also like to ask him to name three books that matter to him.”
Jessica Higginbotham, a senior English student and student representative on the One Book, One Community committee said she is excited about this year’s book.
“‘The Lazarus Project’ is a wonderful mix of history, autobiography, and fiction which really allows the author to play around with the way the story is told, and it is told beautifully,” Higginbotham said. “The novel really portrays the intricacies of establishing belonging in a new place, when the place that one came from can no longer be called home. This is something I think will and does resonate with many people.”
Higginbotham said she also realizes the importance of One Book, One Community for NMU and Marquette County.
“This project is important to Marquette because it brings the community together, both students and residents,” Higginbotham said. “It’s nice that we can all get together to discuss the book and have fun together by participating in various programs, including the author visit.”
One Book, One Community also tries to include NMU students by having the events on campus.
The convenient location has helped provide for growing student attendance every year.
“Students should take advantage of visiting writers and speakers because it’s not very often when someone has the opportunity to meet the author and ask questions that have been gnawing at you about the book or the topic that the presenter is speaking on,” said Higginbotham.
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