Waxwings by Jonathan Raban

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Jonathan Raban’s powerful novel is set in Seattle in 1999, at the height of its infatuation with the virtual. It’s a place that attracts immigrants. One of these is Tom Janeway, a bookish Hungarian-born Englishman who makes his living commenting on American mores on NPR. Another, who calls himself Chick, is a frenetically industrious illegal alien from China who makes his living any way he can.

Through a series of extraordinary but chillingly plausible events, the paths of these newcomers converge. Tom is uprooted from his marriage and must learn to father his endearing eight-year old son part-time. Chick claws his way up from exploited to exploiter. Meanwhile Seattle is troubled by rioting anarchists, vanishing children, and the discovery of an al-Qaeda operative; it is a city on the brink. Savage and tender, visionary and addictively entertaining, Waxwings is a major achievement.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Jonathan Raban

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Jonathan Raban is the author, most recently, of the novels Surveillance and Waxwings; his nonfiction includes Passage to Juneau and Bad Land. His honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN/West Creative Nonfiction Award, the Pacific Northwest Booksellers' Award, and the Governor's Award of the State of Washington. He lives in Seattle.
Published September 30, 2003 by Pantheon Books. 288 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Waxwings

The Guardian

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Tom's introduction to Britain came from library books - Arthur Ransome, Frank Richards and Enid Blyton - reinforced by Eng lit at Sussex: Milton, Fielding, the Penguin Poets.

Aug 22 2003 | Read Full Review of Waxwings (Vintage)

Entertainment Weekly

Half-drunk and gazing at the sea from the window of his creaky old Seattle house, Hungarian-born Tom Janeway, a middle-aged professor, writer, and NPR commentator, is ''struck dizzy by the thought that he wanted nothing else than to be here, now.'' A protagonist this happy on page 25 of ...

Oct 03 2003 | Read Full Review of Waxwings (Vintage)

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