This startling, beautiful novel set in South America explores the mysterious concepts of love and home. 'If The City of your Final Destination were eligible for the Man Booker Prize I would be pressing for it to be on the shortlist.' Salley Vickers, The Times Omar has won an award to write the authorised biography of a celebrated yet obscure ...
This startling, beautiful novel set in South America explores the mysterious concepts of love and home. 'If The City of your Final Destination were eligible for the Man Booker Prize I would be pressing for it to be on the shortlist.' Salley Vickers, The Times Omar has won an award to write the authorised biography of a celebrated yet obscure writer, Jules Gund. But first he must gain the approval of Gund's literary executors: his widow, his mistress and his brother. Not allowing himself time for reflection, Omar acts against instinct and flies to the family's dilapidated mansion in Uruguay. If he cannot win their approval, he will lose his award, his job and, perhaps, his redoubtable girlfriend. Once there, he disturbs the uneasy intimacy of the world Gund has left behind and changes it for ever. 'A tender story - told with huge doses of wit and humour - about both destinations and destiny.' Lucia Graves, Daily Telegraph 'This is one to relish for its subtle dialogue, evocation of a languid, dreamy place and the sly, submerged comedy of random events.' Tamsin Dean, Sunday Telegraph 'A joy to read.' Ross Gilfillan, Daily Mail
Publishers Weekly, 2002-02-11 Henry James would have liked Peter Cameron. The author of three well-received novels (most recently, Andorra), Cameron has a Jamesian love of conversation and a belief that when people venture into foreign countries they are revealed, if not at their best , then at least at their most interesting. In this captivating new book, Omar Razaghi, a young academic at the University of Kansas, is trying to write a biography of Jules Gund, a half-Jewish Uruguayan who published one celebrated novel before blowing his own head off (the top of which "came off like an egg," one character observes). Gund left behind a dysfunctional family including Caroline, his wife; Arden, his mistress; Portia, their daughter; Adam, his brother; and Pete, Adam's companion, who all remain shipwrecked on the same decaying farm in the Uruguayan hinterlands, unable to move forward with their respective lives. Omar needs permission from Gund's family to write an authorized biography and secure a substantial research stipend (he has already lied to the research committee, saying he has the authorization). When the family refuses, Omar travels unbidden to Uruguay, hurtling himself into a nest of relationships only a very talented writer could construct. Omar, an Iranian by birth who was raised in Canada, is an expatriate among expatriates; he says of Gund, "his life bridges worlds and cultures and religions." The same could be said of this complex book, which compresses issues of identity, belonging and connection among diverse peoples into one tiny Uruguayan homestead. Readers who immerse themselves in the Gund family's knotty presence will be impressed by the novel's intelligence and narrative drive. (May) Forecast: Cameron has a core audience of gay readers, but he has always defied any narrow categorization. Here his investigation of larger issues, especially cross-cultural identity, should grant this highly readable novel broad appeal. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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