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Tom Rachman was born in London and raised in Vancouver. He is a graduate of the University of Toronto and the Columbia School of Journalism. He has been a foreign correspondent for The Associated Press (stationed in Rome, with assignments taking him to Japan, South Korea, Turkey and Egypt, among other places). From 2006 to 2008, he worked as an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. The Imperfectionists is his first novel and is being published in ten countries.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD Rome, 1955 The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot. From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world. Trying to live up to his father's name - one of the twentieth century's fiercest and most controversial painters - Pinch never quite succeeds. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, he enacts an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy. What makes an artist? In The Italian Teacher, Tom Rachman displays a nuanced understanding of art and its demons. Moreover, in Pinch he achieves a portrait of vulnerability and frustrated talent that - with his signature humour and humanity -- challenges the very idea of greatness.
One of our Debuts of the Year 2011. April 2011 Debut of the Month. The charming and enthralling story of an idiosyncratic English-language newspaper in Rome and the lives of its staffers as the paper fights for survival in the internet age. The Imperfectionists interweaves the stories of eleven unusual and endearing characters who depend on the paper. Funny and moving, the novel is about endings - the end of life, the end of sexual desire, the end of the era of newspapers - and about what might rise afterward.
***SHORTLISTED FOR THE COSTA NOVEL AWARD*** 'Wickedly funny, deeply touching . . . I confess this was the first of Rachman's novels I'd read but I was so swept away by it that I raced out to buy the other three' PATRICK GALE 'Relentlessly entertaining' Daily Mail Rome, 1955 The artists are gathering together for a photograph. In one of Rome's historic villas, a party glitters with socialites and patrons. Bear Bavinsky, creator of vast, masculine, meaty canvases, is their god. He is at the centre of the picture. His wife, Natalie, edges out of the shot. From the side of the room watches little Pinch - their son. At five years old he loves Bear almost as much as he fears him. After Bear abandons their family, Pinch will still worship him, while Natalie faces her own wars with the art world. Trying to live up to his father's name - one of the twentieth century's fiercest and most controversial painters - Pinch never quite succeeds. Yet by the end of a career of twists and compromises, he enacts an unexpected rebellion that will leave forever his mark upon the Bear Bavinsky legacy. What makes an artist? In The Italian Teacher, Tom Rachman displays a nuanced understanding of art and its demons. Moreover, in Pinch he achieves a portrait of vulnerability and frustrated talent that - with his signature humour and humanity - challenges the very idea of greatness.
'Ingenious' New York Times 'Mesmerising' The Times 'Loveable' Evening Standard Nine-year-old Tooly is spirited away from Bangkok by a seductive group of outsiders who take her from city to city across the globe. At twenty, she is wandering the streets of Manhattan with a scribbled-on map, scamming strangers for her shadowy protector, Venn. Now, aged thirty-one, she runs a second-hand bookshop on the Welsh borders and has found peace with her strange upbringing - until she's called to return to New York to see her dying father. Warm, hilarious and fizzing with intelligence, The Rise and Fall of Great Powers is a masterpiece about the search for identity.
';An exotic touch of intrigue arises in THE ITALIAN TEACHER . . . deliciously ironic and deeply affectionate.'Ron Charles, The Washington Post A masterful novel about the son of a great painter striving to create his own legacy, by the bestselling author ofThe Imperfectionists.Conceived while his father, Bear, cavorted around Rome in the 1950s, Pinch learns quickly that Bear's genius trumps all. After Bear abandons his family, Pinch strives to make himself worthy of his father's attention--first trying to be a painter himself; then resolving to write his father's biography; eventually settling, disillusioned, into a job as an Italian teacher in London. But when Bear dies, Pinch hatches a scheme to secure his father's legacy--and make his own mark on the world. With his signature humanity and humor, Tom Rachman examines a life lived in the shadow of greatness, cementing his place among his generation's most exciting literary voices.
SHORTLISTED FOR THE EDGE HILL PRIZE Almost-true stories for a post-truth world Wrong! Not Nice! Sad! A Manhattan party on election night. Liberal media types gather with big grins and high-end canapes to watch the Trump-Clinton results come in, expecting a smooth victory for Hillary. As the outcome shifts and they descend into panic, the host stands abruptly before her guests, confessing a shocking crime of years before. What follows is a series of witty, cutting, addictive tales of Trump times, portraying Democrats and Republicans in a divided America, from powerful to powerless, angry to thwarted, from a Starbucks barista who dreams of making it on the stage, to a couple whose online date goes bitterly awry, to a charmingly wicked U.S. businessman living undercover in rural Italy. Basket of Deplorables is a timely take on the craziness of today: almost-true fiction for a post-truth world.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR *; The Seattle Times *; The Globe and Mail *; Kirkus Reviews *; Daily Mail *; The Vancouver SunFrom the author of The Italian Teacher and The Imperfectionists comes a brilliant, intricately woven novel about a young woman who travels the world to make sense of her puzzling past. Tooly Zylberberg, the American owner of an isolated bookshop in the Welsh countryside, conducts a life full of reading, but with few human beings. Books are safer than people, who might ask awkward questions about her life. She prefers never to mention the strange events of her youth, which mystify and worry her still. Taken from home as a girl, Tooly found herself spirited away by a group of seductive outsiders, implicated in capers from Asia to Europe to the United States. But who were her abductors? Why did they take her? What did they really want? There was Humphrey, the curmudgeonly Russian with a passion for reading; there was the charming but tempestuous Sarah, who sowed chaos in her wake; and there was Venn, the charismatic leader whose worldview transformed Tooly forever. Until, quite suddenly, he disappeared. Years later, Tooly believes she will never understand the true story of her own life. Then startling news arrives from a long-lost boyfriend in New York, raising old mysteries and propelling her on a quest around the world in search of answers. Tom Rachman—an author celebrated for humanity, humor, and wonderful characters—has produced a stunning novel that reveals the tale not just of one woman but of the past quarter-century as well, from the end of the Cold War to the dominance of American empire to the digital revolution of today. Leaping between decades, and from Bangkok to Brooklyn, this is a breathtaking novel about long-buried secrets and how we must choose to make our own place in the world. It will confirm Rachman's reputation as one of the most exciting young writers we have.Praise for The Rise & Fall of Great Powers ';Ingenious . . . Rachman needs only a few well-drawn characters to fill a large canvas and an impressive swath of history.'—Janet Maslin, The New York Times ';A superb follow-up to 2010's The Imperfectionists . . . ambitious and engaging.'—The Seattle Times ';Engaging and inventive . . . full of wonderfully quirky, deeply flawed, but lovable characters . . . On the spectrum of interesting literary childhoods, Tooly Zylberberg—the protagonist of Tom Rachman's second novel—would rank somewhere in the vicinity of Jane Eyre and Oliver Twist.'—San Francisco Chronicle ';I found it impossible not to fall in love with shape-shifting Tooly. As an adult, she sports an ironical sense of humor and an attraction to dusty old books. As a child, her straight-faced mirth and wordplay are break-your-heart irresistible.'—Ron Charles, The Washington Post ';[A] read-it-all-in-one-weekend book.'—The New Republic ';A compelling page-turner . . . intricate, sprawling, and almost Dickensian.'—USA Today ';Rachman's comedic powers drive the story, with grace and wit.'—Minneapolis Star Tribune