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Await Your Reply

Chapter One We are on our way to the hospital, Ryan's father says. Listen to me, Son: You are not going to bleed to death. Ryan is still aware enough that his father's words come in through the edges, like sunlight on the borders of a window shade. His eyes are shut tight and his body is shaking and he is trying to hold up his left arm, to keep it elevated.

We are on our way to the hospital, his father says, and Ryan's teeth are chattering, he clenches and unclenches them, and a series of wavering colored lights--greens, indigos--plays along the surface of his closed eyelids.


On the seat beside him, in between him and his father, Ryan's severed hand is resting on a bed of ice in an eight-quart Styrofoam cooler. The hand weighs less than a pound. The nails are trimmed and there are calluses on the tips of the fingers from guitar playing.

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The skin is now bluish in color. This is about three a.

Await Your Reply - Literature & Creative Writing - Arts and Faith

Ryan doesn't have any idea how far away the hospital might be but he repeats with his father we are on the way to the hospital we are on the way to the hospital and he wants to believe so badly that it's true, that it's not just one of those things that you tell people to keep them calm. But he's not sure. Gazing out all he can see is the night trees leaning over the road, the car pursuing its pool of headlight, and darkness, no towns, no buildings ahead, darkness, road, moon.

From the Hardcover edition.

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  • Summaries and Excerpts: Await Your Reply [electronic resource (EPUB eBook)] : A Novel / Dan Chaon.;
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    Await Your Reply

    Ryan, a college sophomore, walks away from his life and essentially fakes his own death after discovering he was adopted. Lucy, a small-town girl with big dreams, runs off with her charming history teacher only to find herself holed up at a deserted motel in Nebraska. And Miles, a self-effacing everyman who is haunted by the disappearance of his more charming, possibly schizophrenic twin, leaves everything once again to chase after his troubled long-lost brother.

    More intellectual than action-oriented, this is a psychological thriller that examines paranoia and the grey area between reality and fantasy. With his precise, evocative prose, keenly realized observations, and vividly imagined characters, Chaon expertly navigates through the separate narratives, weaving a layered puzzle of a novel that comes to a satisfying and startling conclusion. No, it's definitely not YA, but I do see it as something older teens might get into. It definitely has a youthful feel.

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    Await Your Reply

    I didn't see the ending as pat or hopeful at all. It's something of a surprise ending so I don't want to spoil anything. I had it partly figured out about three quarters of the way through, but it still managed to surprise me. Thanks for all the comments. Just heard Dan Chaon read from his new book Stay Awake. Some of the same themes as in Await Your Reply, but at least a few of the stories seemed a bit lighter, though the title story, about a baby born with a malformed twin's face fused to her, would not be one of them.

    Also, it turns out Await Your Reply is going to be a film. Chaon wrote the screenplay himself.

    Monica Ferrell and Dan Chaon (Part 1 of 2)

    Have you heard any update on whether or not Await Your Reply is going to be a film?