You Remind Me of Me by Dan Chaon

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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.

About Dan Chaon

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Dan Chaon is the acclaimed author of Among the Missing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award; You Remind Me of Me, which was named one of the best books of the year by The Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, and Entertainment Weekly, among other publications; and Await Your Reply, which was a New York Times Notable Book and appeared on more than a dozen "Best of the Year" lists. Chaon's fiction has appeared in many journals and anthologies, including The Best American Short Stories, Pushcart Prize, and The O. Henry Prize Stories. He has been a finalist for the National Magazine Award in Fiction, and he was the recipient of the 2006 Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Chaon lives in Cleveland, Ohio, and teaches at Oberlin College, where he is the Pauline M. Delaney Professor of Creative Writing.
Published April 30, 2005 by Ballantine Books,. 384 pages
Genres: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Kirkus Reviews

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The tightly wound Jonah improbably attempts to “rescue” the boy back into Troy’s custody, even as Troy continues to struggle with the new knowledge that he has a long-lost brother.

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Publishers Weekly

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Ballantine , $24.95 (352p) ISBN 0-345-44141-9Three lives viewed through a kaleidoscope of memories and secret pain assume a kind of mythical dimension in Chaon's piercingly poignant tale of fate, chance and search for redemption.

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Book Reporter

Jonah was dead once.

Jan 24 2011 | Read Full Review of You Remind Me of Me

AV Club

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At times, the writing suffers from literary preciousness, particularly in the endless descriptions of Jonah's symbolic scar, but Chaon compensates with evocative passages about the inner and outer aridness of prairie life.

Jul 12 2004 | Read Full Review of You Remind Me of Me

Entertainment Weekly

''Why should she have worked so hard to end up with so little, to end up fat and sixty-three, a divorced woman in a flowered shirt and tight shorts and flip-flops...?'' In the end, Chaon provides his characters a commodity they seem unable to acquire for themselves: grace.

Jun 04 2004 | Read Full Review of You Remind Me of Me

USA Today

"I'd have been a different person if I'd have kept that baby," Nora Doyle tells her son, Jonah, in Dan Chaon's You Remind Me of Me.Depressed about the child she surrendered for adoption, Nora adds, "I should have given you up, too," then softens this casual act of cruelty by letting him know that...

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Lost souls searching for happiness come up short in this somber first novel by Chaon, whose short-story collection Among' the Missing was a 2001 National Book Award finalist.

Jun 14 2004 | Read Full Review of You Remind Me of Me

Bookmarks Magazine

In the opening chapters of this debut novel, Chaon introduces a host of seemingly unrelated characters in small Midwestern prairie towns.

Oct 19 2009 | Read Full Review of You Remind Me of Me

Project MUSE

After his mother's sudden death, Jonah moves to Chicago, where he tries to forget the past and set out on a new life, equipped with Fifteen Steps on the Ladder of Life, which he's removed from the Little Bow library.

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