OVERRIDE

The City of Your Final Destination

Peter Cameron

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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  PART ONEWe are unhappy because we do not see how our unhappiness can end; whereas what we really fail to see is that unhappiness cannot last, since even a continuance of the same condition will bring about a change of mood. For the same reason happiness does not last.—William Gerhardie, Of Mortal Love


CHAPTER ONE


September 13, 1995

Ms. Caroline Gund
Ms. Arden Langdon
Mr. Adam Gund
Ochos Rios
Tranqueras, Uruguay

Dear Ms. Gund, Ms. Langdon, and Mr. Gund:I am writing to you because I have been told you are the executors of Jules Gund’s
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REVIEWS

Praise for The City of Your Final Destination

"Delightful, unexpected, magical, romantic, and fraught with adorable entanglements."--Ann Pritchard, USA Today
 
"Subtle, affectingly, erotically traces the beginnings, the hesitations, the advances of a love affair."--Richard Eder, The New York Times
 
"A lightly comic novel as splendid as Peter Cameron's The City of Your Final Destination is a cause for celebration."--James Schiff, The News and Observer (Raleigh)
 
"A very worthy, and eminently readable, addition to Cameron's graceful, witty, and insightful body of work . . . A finely crafted novel [that] continues to surprise until the final pages."--Chris Lehmann, The Washington Post
 
"Cameron draws this sweet novel to one of the most satisfying denouements in recent memory."--John Freeman, San Francisco Chronicle

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Peter Cameron

  • Peter Cameron is the author of The Weekend and Andorra. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Grand Street, and The Paris Review. He lives in New York City.
  • Peter Cameron Copyright Nina Subin
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The City of Your Final Destination

Peter Cameron

L.A. Times Book Prize - Finalist, PEN/Faulkner Award - Nominee
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