The Typist

By Michael Knight
(Atlantic Monthly Press, Hardcover, 9780802119506, 190pp.)

Publication Date: August 2010

List Price: $20.00*
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Selected by Indie Booksellers for the August 2010 Indie Next List
“This novel offers up for our consideration the lives of three boys during the American occupation of Japan -- two American soldiers with no heroic combat feats to their credit, and a Japanese boy attempting to adapt and better himself in an alien environment -- and the lifelong injuries their tours produced. It is a chapter of World War II that has gone largely unnoticed by books, movies and celebrations of remembrance, and yet has produced both casualties as well as stories of hope just the same.”
-- Simone Bratcher, Bookin' It!, Belmont, NC

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 talenttyping ninety-five words a minutekeeps 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 complexand riskypersonal 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 conflictespecially the startling news from his war bride, a revelation that threatens Van with a kind of war wound he never anticipated.

About the Author
Michael Knight, Senior Curator of Chinese Art and Deputy Director for Strategic Programs and Partnerships at the Asian Art Museum, is author or co-author of many books, including "Power and Glory: Court Arts of China's Ming Dynasty", " Later Chinese Jades: Ming DynastyuEarly Twentieth Century", and "The Monumental Landscapes of Li Huayi".
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