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You Remind Me of Me

A Novel

By

Paperback published by Ballantine Books (Random House Publishing Group)

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About This Book
With his critically acclaimed Among the Missing and Fitting Ends, award-winning author Dan Chaon proved himself a master of the short story form. He is a writer, observes the Chicago Tribune, who can “convincingly squeeze whole lives into a mere twenty pages or so.” Now Chaon marshals his notable talents in his much-anticipated debut novel.

You Remind Me of Me begins with a series of separate incidents: In 1977, a little boy is savagely attacked by his mother’s pet Doberman; in 1997 another little boy disappears from his grandmother’s backyard on a sunny summer morning; in 1966, a pregnant teenager admits herself to a maternity home, with the intention of giving her child up for adoption; in 1991, a young man drifts toward a career as a drug dealer, even as he hopes for something better. With penetrating insight and a deep devotion to his characters, Dan Chaon explores the secret connections that irrevocably link them. In the process he examines questions of identity, fate, and circumstance: Why do we become the people that we become? How do we end up stuck in lives that we never wanted? And can we change the course of what seems inevitable?

In language that is both unflinching and exquisite, Chaon moves deftly between the past and the present in the small-town prairie Midwest and shows us the extraordinary lives of “ordinary” people.


From the Hardcover edition.
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With his critically acclaimed Among the Missing and Fitting Ends, award-winning author Dan Chaon proved himself a master of the short story form. He is a writer, observes the Chicago Tribune, who can “convincingly squeeze whole lives into a mere twenty pages or so.” Now Chaon marshals his notable talents in his much-anticipated debut novel.

You Remind Me of Me begins with a series of separate incidents: In 1977, a little boy is savagely attacked by his mother’s pet Doberman; in 1997 another little boy disappears from his grandmother’s backyard on a sunny summer morning; in 1966, a pregnant teenager admits herself to a maternity home, with the intention of giving her child up for adoption; in 1991, a young man drifts toward a career as a drug dealer, even as he hopes for something better. With penetrating insight and a deep devotion to his characters, Dan Chaon explores the secret connections that irrevocably link them. In the process he examines questions of identity, fate, and circumstance: Why do we become the people that we become? How do we end up stuck in lives that we never wanted? And can we change the course of what seems inevitable?

In language that is both unflinching and exquisite, Chaon moves deftly between the past and the present in the small-town prairie Midwest and shows us the extraordinary lives of “ordinary” people.


From the Hardcover edition.
Product Details
Paperback (384 pages)
Published: April 26, 2005
Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Imprint: Ballantine Books
ISBN: 9780345441409
Other books byDan Chaon
  • Stay Awake

    Stay Awake
    Stories
    “Eerily beautiful . . . [Chaon] is the modern day John Cheever.”—Boston Sunday Globe   “Powerful and disturbing . . . The shocks in this collection are many.”—The Washington Post   These haunting, suspenseful stories by acclaimed author Dan Chaon feature scattered families, unfulfilled dreamers, anxious souls—lost, fragile, searching characters who wander between ordinary life and a psychological shadowland. They have experienced intense love or loss, grief or loneliness, displacement or disconnection—and exist in a twilight realm, in a place by the window late at night when the streets are empty and the world appears to be quiet. But it is not, and neither are you. And since you cannot sleep, you stay awake.   “Chaon is able to create fully realized characters in mere pages. . . . This collection is further proof that Chaon is one of the best fiction writers working right now.”—Omaha World-Herald   “There are not many fiction writers who can do what Dan Chaon can do. . . . [He is] a literary force.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer   “Intense and suspenseful . . . a highly recommended work, not to be missed.”—Library Journal (starred review)   “Mesmerizing . . . gripping, masterful fiction.”—The Plain Dealer   “Superbly disquieting.”—The New York Times Book Review   Don’t miss the exclusive conversation between Dan Chaon and Emma Straub at the back of the book. Look for special features inside. Join the Circle for author chats and more.

    Await Your Reply

    Await Your Reply
    A Novel
    The lives of three strangers interconnect in unforeseen ways–and with unexpected consequences–in acclaimed author Dan Chaon’s gripping, brilliantly written new novel. Longing to get on with his life, Miles Cheshire nevertheless can’t stop searching for his troubled twin brother, Hayden, who has been missing for ten years. Hayden has covered his tracks skillfully, moving stealthily from place to place, managing along the way to hold down various jobs and seem, to the people he meets, entirely normal. But some version of the truth is always concealed. A few days after graduating from high school, Lucy Lattimore sneaks away from the small town of Pompey, Ohio, with her charismatic former history teacher. They arrive in Nebraska, in the middle of nowhere, at a long-deserted motel next to a dried-up reservoir, to figure out the next move on their path to a new life. But soon Lucy begins to feel quietly uneasy. My whole life is a lie, thinks Ryan Schuyler, who has recently learned some shocking news. In response, he walks off the Northwestern University campus, hops on a bus, and breaks loose from his existence, which suddenly seems abstract and tenuous. Presumed dead, Ryan decides to remake himself–through unconventional and precarious means. Await Your Reply is a literary masterwork with the momentum of a thriller, an unforgettable novel in which pasts are invented and reinvented and the future is both seductively uncharted and perilously unmoored. From the Hardcover edition.

    Among the Missing

    Among the Missing
    In this haunting, bracing new collection, Dan Chaon shares stories of men, women, and children who live far outside the American Dream, while wondering which decision, which path, or which accident brought them to this place. Chaon mines the psychological landscape of his characters to dazzling effect. Each story radiates with sharp humor, mystery, wonder, and startling compassion. Among the Missing lingers in the mind through its subtle grace and power of language. From the Trade Paperback edition.

    Fitting Ends

    Fitting Ends
    Fitting Ends is the first collection of fiction by the acclaimed author of the National Book Award finalist Among the Missing and now appears in this newly revised edition with two never before collected stories.   Written before Among the Missing and originally published by Northwestern University Press, Fitting Ends features thirteen stories detailing the almost panicked angst of the American generation now approaching thirty.  Struggling with gaps between youthful expectations and adult experiences, these characters long for understanding and acceptance—but are thwarted by failed love, family disruptions, numbing work, and sexual confusion.    Chaon is one of the most promising new voices in fiction, and this re-issued collection offers further evidence of his unique talent. “The best of these stories . . . possess a rare, disorienting force. When you look up from them, the quality of light seems a little different. It’s a reminder to those of us who have almost forgotten what literature can sometimes do.” —Boston Book Review “The most honest, observant and timely book written this year about the American generation now approaching thirty . . . Chaon speaks with clarity of feeling, and more than a little oddball wit, about the lives of those left behind the demographic curve of America—men and woman with pointless jobs, doughy faces, soured relationships, bad credit. . . . Each story pulls you into its subtle emotional vortex, largely because of Chaon’s knack for simple but poignant detail.” —New York Newsday “Remarkable . . . Each story is a marvel of complexity, dense with meaning and nuance. . . . Very few first works are as solid, moving, and pitch-perfect as Chaon’s.” —The Cleveland Plain Dealer “[AN] OFTEN PERCEPTIVE, LUCID VOICE.” —The New York Times Book Review

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