Compulsively Readable Paperbacks

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The Typist

The Typist

208 pages; Atlantic Monthly Press
In quiet, spare prose, Michael Knight introduces us to Van, a newly married, morally upright loner who just happens to be the fastest U.S. army typist in the occupied nation of post World War II Japan. Van finds his well-ordered life disrupted by requests to babysit the young son of General MacArthur (affectionately referred to as "Bunny") and to serve as a wingman to his troubled roommate, an army corporal who's fallen hard for a local dance hall hostess. At a time when Americans are torn between isolationism and "meddling in world affairs," Van is forced to confront a similar decision—to take life by the reins or continue on in a "haze [that] never quite lifted from my mind." With The Typist, Knight paints a picture of military ennui in a city facing desperate economic times, giving us beautifully drawn characters who are at once vulnerable and unknowable as they seek solace, diversion—and eventually, purpose—amid instability. 
— Tiffany Sun