“I was just thinking something is lost; it’s not the same thing,” says the author of The Imperfectionists (Dial, $15 in paper), a comic novel about a failing English-language newspaper in Rome and the reporters, editors and executives who work (and bicker and battle and manhandle grammar) there.
“I am reminded of that when I spend a morning reading a paper. You find things you’re never going to look into yourself. Today I read a disturbing story about murders in Delaware. I never would have clicked on the link online, but in the paper I encountered something extraordinary. On a broader scale that was always the role of the paper.”
Rachman, who appears Wednesday at Books & Books in Coral Gables, worked in Rome as an Associated Press correspondent and as an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. His first professional story as a United Press International freelancer — about a Cuban dissident who ended up in Canada — ran in The Miami Herald.
“It’s a pretty fascinating landscape,” Rachman says of the news biz, of which he is no longer a part. “It does draw all sorts of fascinating characters. The portrayals of journalists lean to one pole or the other. They’re either noble heroes, or they are utterly morally bankrupt corrupt power seekers. In my experience it’s a sometimes rich, sometimes bitter, sometimes funny place to work. It’s a marvelous cauldron to swirl odd characters.”
Read the rest of my interview with Tom Rachman here.