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Books like Nowhere Man

Nowhere Man

2009, Aleksandar Hemon


Nowhere Man is a novel by Aleksandar Hemon, published in 2002 and named after the Beatles song "Nowhere Man". The novel (subtitled The Pronek Fantasies) centers around the character of Jozef Pronek, a Bosnian refugee, who was already the subject of Hemon's novella Blind Jozef Pronek & Dead Souls published in his short story collection The Question of Bruno (2000).

The novel comprises a series of vignettes telling the story of a character named Jozef Pronek, a Ukrainian born and raised in Bosnia. Pronek's biography is related by multiple narrators. The book can be divided into three sections. The first section describes Pronek's peaceful childhood in 1980s Sarajevo. The second section follows Pronek as he is a university student in Kiev in the Soviet Union at the time of the 1991 political turmoil (narrated by his dormitory roommate Victor Plavchuk). In the third part of the book Pronek is an immigrant in Chicago, where he works in a series of low-paid jobs including working as a Greenpeace canvasser, which enables him to observe the lives of middle-class Chicagoans. Some of these elements are reflective of the author's own life.

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