Tom Rachman, who was born in London in 1974 and raised in Vancouver, studied cinema at the University of Toronto, then journalism at Columbia University in New York. In 1998, he joined the Associated Press as a foreign-desk editor in New York, then became a correspondent in Rome in 2002. He has written articles from India, Turkey, Japan, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Egypt, Belgium, Britain and elsewhere. From 2006-08, he was an editor at the International Herald Tribune in Paris. His writing has appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Guardian, Slate and The New Statesman, among other publications. He lives in London and is the author of two novels, an international bestseller that has been translated into 25 languages, The Imperfectionists (2010), and The Rise & Fall of Great Powers (upcoming in 2014).
Set in Rome, The Imperfectionists is a novel told in linked stories about the private lives of the reporters, editors and executives at an international English-language newspaper as they struggle to keep their publication—and themselves—afloat. Kathleen, the tough editor-in-chief, experiments with betrayal in her open marriage. Arthur, the lazy obituary writer, is transformed by a tragedy at home. And Abbey, the besieged financial officer, finds that her job cuts and her love life are intertwined in unexpected ways. Out in the field, the veteran Paris reporter goes to desperate lengths for his next byline, while an inexperienced new Mideast stringer is seeking terrorists to interview. In the shadows is the isolated young publisher whose actions may determine the future of every employee at the paper. The Imperfectionists touches on the decline of newspapers and the rise of technology, but above all it is about these characters and their peculiar stories.