For me, the ultimate
compliment to a book is when I let it not only retain a spot on an increasingly
crowded bookshelf, but resolve to read it in its entirety a second time. That
is the case with Tom Rachman’s debut novel, The
Imperfectionists, which wowed critics and readers alike when it came out in
2010. (That’s the author at left; photo by Alessandra Rizzo.)
In giving the novel a starred
review, Publishers Weekly, nicely nutshelled the
story: “In his zinger of a
debut, Rachman deftly applies his experience as foreign correspondent and
editor to chart the goings-on at a scrappy English-language newspaper in Rome.
Chapters read like exquisite short stories, turning out the intersecting lives
of the men and women who produce the paper.”
You don’t have to have any newspaper background at
all to really enjoy this book and its finely chiseled portraits. Our
contributor Mary Curran Hackett, herself a novelist (Proof
of Heaven), turned in an engaging How I Write interview with Rachman that I
think you’ll find very interesting. This guy’s the real deal, with a bright
literary future. Look for Mary’s article in our February issue, which comes out
in early January.
* * * * *
I can’t close without
eating some crow. Being, like much of Wisconsin, a Green Bay Packers freak, I managed
to work a game prediction into last week’s blog that managed to be oh so wrong.
The Pack, of course, whipped the Detroit Lions, maintaining an undefeated
record. That’s what I get for straying from literary topics.
-- Ron Kovach, senior
editor, The Writer
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