It's always exciting when a debut clicks with critics and readers alike—especially if it's a novel we championed at BookPage. So, I was thrilled to find out today that Tom Rachman's The Imperfectionists is hitting the New York Times Bestseller list at #13 this Sunday.

The novel is about the personalities who work for an English-language newspaper based in Rome, and it's told in the form of stories. BookPage reviewer Harvey Freedenberg wrote:


Each of Rachman’s stories focuses on a different staffer, and from one to the next he deftly hits all the notes on the emotional scale. Comic highlights include “Bush Slumps to New Low in Polls,” in which Lloyd Burko, the aging and desperate Paris correspondent, fabricates a story about a shift in France’s policy in Gaza to save his job, and “The Sex Lives of Islamic Extremists,” starring Winston Cheung, a feckless one-time primatologist fighting a losing battle for the position of Cairo stringer.

I wonder how Rachman will celebrate his debut on the NYT list. We interviewed him for an issue of XTRA a few weeks ago, and he shared his reaction to selling the novel:



My agent phoned from New York with the news. I stood there in my small apartment in Paris, shifting from leg to leg as she drew out the story. Finally, there it was: I had sold my novel. I put down the receiver, took a deep breath and began darting from one side of my living room to the other (not a great distance; about three strides each way), punching the air, shouting, “Yes! Yes! Yes!” until remembering that I had neighbors. Next, I ordered champagne to be sent to my agent, and popped a bottle myself, sending the cork flying from the living room, into the kitchen, out the open window. Click here to continue reading the Q&A.

Have you read The Imperfectionists? What'd you think?

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