Written with the stunning economy of language for which Michael Knight's work has always been praised, The Typist is a rich and powerful work of historical fiction that expertly chronicles both the politics of the Pacific theater of World War II and the personal relationships borne from the tragedies of warfare.

When Francis "Van" Vancleave joins the army in 1944, he expects his term of service to pass uneventfully. His singular talent - typing 95 words per minute - keeps him off the battlefield and in General MacArthur's busy Tokyo headquarters, where his days are filled with paperwork in triplicate and letters of dictation.

But little does Van know that the first year of the occupation will prove far more volatile for him than for the US Army. When he's bunked with a troubled combat veteran cum black marketer and recruited to babysit MacArthur's eight-year-old son, Van is suddenly tangled in the complex - and risky - personal lives of his compatriots. As he brushes shoulders with panpan girls and Communists on the streets of Tokyo, Van struggles to uphold his convictions in the face of unexpected conflict - especially the startling news from his war bride, a revelation that threatens Van with a kind of war wound he never anticipated.


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Praise for this book

"I loved The Typist. It is a beautiful portrait of a kind of walking pneumonia of the spirit that seeks and finds its own cure. It is also most impressive because of the setting--in a time far before Knight ever drew breath. It is true imagining at its finest." - Richard Bausch

"The Typist is Knight's best book yet. It reads with a combination of urgency and a quiet, rush-less pace to the novel's slow reveal. There is not a misstep, not a mislaid sentence. I believed and breathed every single word. This book awed me." - Elizabeth Gilbert

"Michael Knight tells the story of generals, war, and occupation through the eyes of a typist who proves himself to be the calm at the center of the storm. The result is this elegant, thoughtful, and resonant novel." - Ann Patchett


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Used availability for Michael Knight's The Typist

Hardback Editions

August 2010 : USA Hardback
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Title: The Typist: A Novel
Author(s): Michael Knight
ISBN: 0-8021-1950-6 / 978-0-8021-1950-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

August 2011 : USA Paperback
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Title: The Typist: A Novel
Author(s): Michael Knight
ISBN: 0-8021-4536-1 / 978-0-8021-4536-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Grove Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Audio Editions

May 2016 : USA MP3 CD
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Title: The Typist: A Novel
Author(s): Michael Knight
ISBN: 1-5226-0591-6 / 978-1-5226-0591-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Audible Studios on Brilliance Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


June 2015 : USA Audio edition
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Title: The Typist: A Novel
Author(s): Michael Knight
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon   


June 2015 : Canada Audio edition
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Title: The Typist: A Novel
Author(s): Michael Knight
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon CA   


June 2015 : UK Audio edition
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Title: The Typist: A Novel
Author(s): Michael Knight
Publisher: Audible Studios
Availability: Amazon UK   


Kindle Editions

August 2010 : USA, Canada, UK Kindle edition
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Title: The Typist
Author(s): Michael Knight
Publisher: Atlantic Monthly Press
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA