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The City of Your Final Destination

Peter Cameron

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Description

A wryly humorous, impeccably observed novel about the capriciousness of love

Omar Razaghi posts a letter on September 13, 1995 that will change the course of his life forever. A doctoral student at the University of Kansas, he writes to the estate of the Latin American author Jules Gund, requesting permission to write Gund's authorized biography. His request is refused, but Omar has already accepted a fellowship from the university, and with his girlfriend's vehement encouragement, he goes in person to Uruguay to petition to Gund's three executors. Although Caroline Gund, Jules' wife, and Arden Langdon, Jules' mistress and mother of his child, are initially opposed to the idea of a biography, Omar has the support of Adam, Jules' older brother, and hopes to be able to persuade the two women. Omar's unexpected arrival in Uruguay reverberates through this odd and isolated little family group, and his stay in the languid, dreamy Ochos Rios makes him question his former life in Kansas, and his ability-even his desire-to write an "authorized" life.

A novel about the random nature of love, and the ways in which we confront or avoid life's choices, The City of Your Final Destination is a touching, clever and wonderfully comic fourth novel from Peter Cameron.

Publishers Weekly Review

Feb 11, 2002 – 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.
The City of Your Final Destination
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  • $9.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Literary
  • Published: May 11, 2010
  • Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
  • Seller: Macmillan / Holtzbrinck Publishers, LLC
  • Print Length: 250 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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