Await Your Reply: A Novel (Random House Reader's Circle)
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
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.
book chapter by chapter to my editor, Anika Streitfeld, and to my wife, the writer Sheila Schwartz. They would each give me a little feedback and I’d float various plot concepts—which Anika or Sheila, or both of them, would frequently and kindly shoot down or talk me through. The last hundred pages was written in a little less than two months, but it really wasn’t until the final few chapters that I truly had everything figured out. The last bit of plot clicked into place the way a difficult
front of the room and had them sit down in folding chairs while their coworkers watched, and everyone waited expectantly as one by one their father put each of the volunteers into their own individual trances. Everyone was delighted. What fun! The coworkers in the audience were tittering to see their colleagues actually hypnotized, deeply relaxed, deeply vulnerable, right there in chairs in front of everyone. Their father was perspiring a little as he spoke. He pressed the palm of his hand
so, he said, it wasn’t a surprise that they got occasional Russian junk mail. “It’s probably about cheap prescription drugs, or penis enlargement, or hot teenage lesbians.” “Right,” Ryan said. “Ha.” “Don’t be so uptight, Son,” Jay said. And Jay was basically a very cautious person, Ryan thought. If Jay wasn’t worried, then why should he be? Still, he didn’t turn the computer back on. He stood there, holding his cell phone, waiting for Jay to answer, staring from the window on the
something in common, Miles,” she said. “I’ve also been looking for him for a long time.” He was lonely: that’s what he told himself later, when he began to worry that he should have been more cautious, more circumspect. He was lonely and tired and disoriented and sick of playing games, and what did it matter? What did it matter? They sat at the bar of the Mackenzie Hotel, and he had another few beers, and Lydia Barrie drank gin and tonics, and he told her everything. Well—almost everything.
drove east from Denver, he and Breez, he and the Destroyer, traveling through Colorado, and Jay was basically prepared to betray his former roommates. He didn’t feel that bad about it. They were truly assholes, he thought, though he couldn’t help but feel nervous as the sky darkened over Interstate 76, and they passed through the thick plumes of steam that billowed out of the sugar beet factory just beyond Fort Morgan, and a flock of grackles lifted up out of the field, a long, streaming