Archive - March 24, 2011

Chris Howard's Tea of Ulaanbaatar

Chris Howard's Tea of Ulaanbaatar

As the minutes passed, the recycled air in the fuselage became like old breath. The planeload of Americans shot nervous looks at each other. Pinpricks of sweat forming on skin, cool but quickly warming. Charlotte joked that they had been abandoned, left to suffocate on the tarmac as a message to all foreigners. They crowded around the windows to look at their new home. The skyline was made of Soviet-built apartment compounds, sooty smokestacks. They saw a man from the ground crew idling on the tarmac. The man looked up, saw their faces pressed against the portholes. They slapped the glass and called to him. He smiled, revealing rotten teeth, but made no move to assist. The temperature soared. • SO BEGINS CHRISTOPHER HOWARD’S debut — and Peace Corps —novel, Tea of Ulaanbaatar: the story of disaffected Peace Corps Volunteer Warren, who flees life in late-capitalist America to find himself . . .

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