The Typist by Michael Knight
A Novel

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Written with the stunning economy of language for which Michael Knight’s work has always been praised, The Typist is a rich and powerful work of historical fiction that expertly chronicles both the politics of the Pacific theater of World War II, and the personal relationships borne from the tragedies of warfare.

When Francis Vancleave (“Van”) joins the army in 1944, he expects his term of service to pass uneventfully. His singular talent—typing ninety-five words a minute—keeps him off the battlefield and in General MacArthur’s busy Tokyo headquarters, where his days are filled with paperwork in triplicate and letters of dictation.

But little does Van know that the first year of the occupation will prove far more volatile for him than for the U.S. Army. When he’s bunked with a troubled combat veteran cum-black marketer and recruited to babysit MacArthur’s eight-year-old son, Van is suddenly tangled in the complex—and risky—personal lives of his compatriots. As he brushes shoulders with panpan girls and Communists on the streets of Tokyo, Van struggles to uphold his convictions in the face of unexpected conflict—especially the startling news from his war bride, a revelation that threatens Van with a kind of war wound he never anticipated.

About Michael Knight

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Michael Muhammad Knight is a novelist, essayist, and journalist. He converted to Islam at 16, after reading Autobiography of Malcom X, and traveled to Islamabad at age 17 to study at a madrassa. He is the author of The Taqwacores, Impossible Man, Osama Van Halen, Journey to the End of Islam, and William S. Burroughs vs. The Qur'an. Knight lives in New York and North Carolina.
Published August 3, 2010 by Atlantic Monthly Press. 209 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Typist

Publishers Weekly

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The curious latest from Knight (Divining Rod) follows American soldier Francis “Van” Vancleave as he weathers the trials of being a typist in Japan in the days after WWII. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, know

May 03 2010 | Read Full Review of The Typist: A Novel

The New York Times

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A novel about American soldiers in postwar Japan.

Sep 08 2010 | Read Full Review of The Typist: A Novel

Star Tribune

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A lovely, spare novel that touches on the drama of everyday life, told through the eyes of a typist in World War II Japan.

Sep 04 2010 | Read Full Review of The Typist: A Novel

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