The Lazarus Project
Collaboration with Aleksandar Hemon on The Lazarus Project (Riverhead, May 2008).
Hemon's novel deals with the real-life death of Lazarus Averbuch, a young Jewish immigrant shot by the Chicago chief of police George Shippy in 1908. Almost 100 years later a writer and a photographer go back to where Lazarus came from, attempting to understand the places he left behind.
Aleksandar and I visited Poland, western Ukraine, Moldova, and ended our trip in Bosnia, where we both come from. Sometimes I assumed the point of view of the fictional photographer. The images are intimately and deeply connected with the book, but they also speak of something that is beyond its limits.
For what interests and attracts me is what is not in the photograph – the absence that the photograph signifies. If home is the place where somebody notices your absence, then the photographs are home for the worlds we have lost.
The Lazarus Project was a finalist for the 2008 National Book Award as well as a finalist for the 2008 National Book Critics Circle Award.