Tom Rachman's hot first novel wowed Brad Pitt

By Keith Staskiewicz
Updated June 18, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

His debut novel, The Imperfectionists, may ”only” be on the bottom half of the best-seller lists, but don’t shed any tears for Tom Rachman. The book — about drama at an English-language newspaper in Rome — garnered rave reviews, and the film rights have been snapped up by Brad Pitt’s production company. ”I was elated to have a book published at all,” says Rachman. ”The fact that people are actually reading it is doubly exciting.” The London-born author, 35, drew from his experiences as a foreign correspondent for the novel, but found journalism and fiction to be entirely different: ”When I started in journalism, I got a real rush from the byline, but after a while it doesn’t mean much. It’s ephemeral. The fact that people will store this book on their shelves is something else entirely.”