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The City of Your Final Destination
PETER CAMERON

The City of Your Final Destination by Peter Cameron
25 reviews (2002) (320p)
PEN/Faulkner Award Finalist
LA Times Book Prize for Fiction

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Book Description
A wryly humorous, impeccably observed novel about the capriciousness of love

Omar Razaghi posts a letter on September 13, 1995 that will change the course of his life forever. A doctoral student at the University of Kansas, he writes to the estate of the Latin American author Jules Gund, requesting permission to write Gund's authorized biography. His request is refused, but Omar has already accepted a fellowship from the university, and with his girlfriend's vehement encouragement, he goes in person to Uruguay to petition to Gund's three executors. Although Caroline Gund, Jules' wife, and Arden Langdon, Jules' mistress and mother of his child, are initially opposed to the idea of a biography, Omar has the support of Adam, Jules' older brother, and hopes to be able to persuade the two women. Omar's unexpected arrival in Uruguay reverberates through this odd and isolated little family group, and his stay in the languid, dreamy Ochos Rios makes him question his former life in Kansas, and his ability-even his desire-to write an "authorized" life.

A novel about the random nature of love, and the ways in which we confront or avoid life's choices, The City of Your Final Destination is a touching, clever and wonderfully comic fourth novel from Peter Cameron.


Amazon.com Review
Peter Cameron's sublime, beautiful novel City of Your Final Destination concerns true love and a young academic's struggle to break free from a life he's molded but doesn't want to live. Omar Razaghi, who's pursuing a Ph.D. at a Midwestern university, fudges his application for grant money, stating he has already obtained authorization from the family of the deceased minor novelist Jules Gund. When he belatedly seeks permission to proceed, the three executors--Gund's brother, Adam; former wife Caroline; and Arden, Gund's mistress and mother of Gund's daughter, Portia--decline. Prompted by his girlfriend, Deirdre, Omar shows up unexpectedly in Uruguay, seeking to convince the family of his--and their--need for a biography of Jules Gund to exist.

Cameron is an able storyteller, and his command allows the prose to flow simply and beautifully; here, most every word counts. Adam's often hilarious wit and Caroline's recalcitrance are sharply drawn, descriptions are in crisp relief, and Cameron gives us many reasons to smile: "Pete stood there for a moment, as if he were deciding, trying to think of a reason why he must stay with them, but he was not clever enough, and so of course he had to leave." The City of Your Final Destination is a refreshing look at the impact of desire and love on quirky, elegantly drawn characters. --Michael Ferch


Peter Cameron Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 0  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 1 The City of Your Final Destination ·  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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