Product detail

Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

Author: George Saunders
$33.00(NZD)  inc GST
Available Stock: 6
Description
This is the most original and enjoyable novel to cross my path in recent times. George Saunders is an astounding writer whose gift for story-telling makes Lincoln in the Bardo a pleasure to read and thoroughly absorbing. Using first-hand accounts and a cacophony of voices (from the spirit world) this is predominately a dialogue-driven novel. The year is 1862, an eleven-year-old boy - Willie Lincoln - has a fever and the Civil War rages in America. The book opens with a stately dinner during which the President and his wife venture upstairs at intervals to check on their cherished son. The fever doesn't break and young Willie dies. Lincoln is inconsolable and this is the story of his grief and his visits to the young boy's grave. The historical details from recorded histories, letters, reports and observances create a wonderfully accurate picture of the time and a truthful account of what happened - Saunders cleverly arranges this information to become a readable script ,building visual scenes in the reader's mind. Interspersed are the sections in the Bardo - the Bardo (from Tibetan Buddhist tradition) is a place of transition, a place between death and life, where those stuck in this world are tormented by demons and biding time until the next world. The array of characters Saunders creates are both grotesque and humorous. Unwilling to depart this world, they live in hope for a way back to their loved ones and out of their 'sick-boxes'. Willie is in the Bardo and it is here that his father comes, stricken with grief, to cradle his son one more time. In this place, the cacophony of voices telling this story and their fascination with the living one who enters their world, are intriguing. Not only do these voices give an insight into the times, but their stories of woe are both tragic and entertaining. Saunders gets the pitch just right. A story of grief and familial love against a backdrop of tragedy and crisis, Lincoln in the Bardo is a gem for its stylistic endeavours and the interplay between lightness and dark.
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Description

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?

Promotion info

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

Reviews

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

Author description

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

Stock Information

General Fields

  • : 9781408871751
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • : September 2015
  • : 234mm X 153mm
  • : United Kingdom
  • : February 2017
  • : books

Special Fields

  • : 368
  • : George Saunders
  • : Paperback
  • : Export/Airside ed
  • : en