A twin’s search for his long-missing brother anchors one storyline In Dan Chaon’s “Await Your Reply.” The sudden loss of family sets other characters adrift. Struggles to find self and family underscore much of the novel’s action. Do you have a similar story to tell?
Perhaps you took steps to find a birth parent or one of your grandparents was part of the orphan train movement that relocated abandoned and homeless children throughout the United States. Maybe you discovered rich details about your ancestors that brought a blurry family past into focus. Share tales of your personal lost and found with other participants in this year’s One Read program by leaving a comment.
Columbia Daily Tribune features editor Lynn Israel interviewed “Await Your Reply” author Dan Chaon. Here, Chaon shares his thoughts about being chosen as this year’s One Read book.
Tribune: You received so many top honors and awards for your writing, but what are your thoughts about the selection of your book for a One Read program in Columbia?
Chaon: I am really interested in the One Read programs that have sprung up all over the country because I do think there is something about having that social aspect to reading that can be really rewarding. The media has become so fractured — and that’s a good thing because people can find whatever they want — but we don’t have that many water cooler moments anymore, we don’t have that many shared things that we can sit down and talk about and argue about, and I guess that the One Read program really allows people to re-experience what that’s like. I guess outside of “Lost,” the last time that happened for me I don’t know, but it is so fun to have something that everyone has an opinion about and everybody is able to share the conversation. We need more of that.
Read the rest of the interview.
Each winter, the public submits suggestions for next year’s book. In January, a panel of community members reviews the suggestions, narrowing that list down to 10 titles, and then chooses two or three books to present for a public vote.
“Await Your Reply” by Dan Chaon
The lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways–and with unexpected consequences–in acclaimed author Dan Chaon’s gripping novel. Miles Cheshire longs to get on with his life, but he can’t stop searching for his troubled twin brother, Hayden, missing for ten years. Lucy Lattimore sneaks away from the small town of Pompey, Ohio, with her charismatic former history teacher, arriving in Nebraska, in the middle of nowhere, to figure out the next move on their path to a new life. Ryan Schuyler, after learning some shocking news, walks off the Northwestern University campus, hops on a bus, and breaks loose from his existence, which suddenly seems abstract and tenuous. “Await Your Reply” is a literary masterwork with the momentum of a thriller in which pasts are reinvented and the future is both seductively uncharted and perilously unmoored.
Thank you to everyone who read or listened to the book and joined us for one of this year’s outstanding One Read events. Learn more about author Dan Chaon and “Await Your Reply”.