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‘It would be an understatement to call this novel an extraordinary tour de force’ -Sunday Times
"George Saunders’s brilliant debut novel about a grieving Lincoln confirms him as a literary star ... To read Saunders’s fiction is to be dazzled by ingenuity, imagination and searing comic verve ... A tender but trenchant reminder that America is and always has been many-voiced: not one story, but millions" - Sunday Times
"A luminous feat of generosity and humanism... Such is Saunders’s magnificent portraiture that readers will recognize in this wretchedness and bravery aspects of their own characters as well"- New York Times, Colson Whitehead
About the book:
The extraordinary first novel by the bestselling, Folio Prize-winning, National Book Award-shortlisted George Saunders, about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War
The American Civil War rages while President Lincoln’s beloved eleven year old son lies gravely ill. In a matter of days, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy’s body.
From this seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of realism, entering a thrilling, supernatural domain both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself trapped in a transitional realm – called, in Tibetan tradition, the bardo – and as ghosts mingle, squabble, gripe and commiserate, and stony tendrils creep towards the boy, a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Unfolding over a single night, Lincoln in the Bardo is written with George Saunders’ inimitable humour, pathos and grace. Here he invents an exhilarating new form, and is confirmed as one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Deploying a theatrical, kaleidoscopic panoply of voices – living and dead, historical and fictional – Lincoln in the Bardo poses a timeless question: how do we live and love
when we know that everything we hold dear must end?
About the author:
George Saunders is the author of nine books, including the No. 1 New York Times bestselling novel Lincoln in the Bardo and the New York Times bestselling Tenth of December, which won the Folio Prize 2014 and was a finalist for the National Book Award 2013. He has received MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and in 2013 was listed by Time as one of the world’s 100 Most Influential People. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University.
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