Lincoln in the Bardo
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?
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
Booker Shortlist 2017
George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time Khaled Hosseini A morally passionate, serious writer ... He will be read long after these times have passed Zadie Smith He makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him Jonathan Franzen An astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic and funny Thomas Pynchon Saunders is a writer of arresting brilliance and originality, with a sure sense of his material and apparently inexhaustible resources of voice ... Scary, hilarious and unforgettable Tobias Wolff There is no one better, no one more essential Dave Eggers Few people cut as hard or deep as Saunders does Junot Diaz Saunders is a true original - restlessly inventive, yet deeply humane Jennifer Egan Reading George Saunders is, it's safe to say, like no other literary experience Observer No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised -- Michiko Kakutani New York Times Surreal and puncturing -- Margaret Atwood Funny, poignant - in flashes, deeply moving - light as a feather and consistently weird -- Hari Kunzru There is really no one like him. He is an original - but everyone knows that -- Lorrie Moore Part of the reason it's so hard to talk about him is the shared acknowledgment among writers that Saunders is somehow a little more than just a writer... [He] writes like something of a saint. He seems in touch with some better being -- Joshua Ferris
George Saunders is the author of nine books, including Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the inaugural Folio Prize (for the best work of fiction in English) and the Story Prize (best short-story collection). He has received MacArthur and Guggen-heim fellowships and the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University. georgesaundersbooks.com