#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE The long-awaited first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented Named One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, USA Today, and Maureen Corrigan, NPR • One of Time’s Ten Best Novels of the Year • A New York Times Notable Book February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end? “A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.”—Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review “A masterpiece.”—Zadie Smith
lincoln in the bardo
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Whether you are a member of a book club, or simply reading 'Lincoln in the Bardo' for pleasure, this clear and concise guide, written by a specialist in literature, will greatly enhance your reading experience. A comprehensive guide to George Saunders' acclaimed novel 'Lincoln in the Bardo', this discussion aid includes a wealth of information and resources: useful literary and historical context; an author biography; a plot synopsis; analyses of themes & imagery; character analysis; twenty thought-provoking discussion questions; recommended further reading and even a quick quiz. For those in book clubs, this useful companion guide takes the hard work out of preparing for meetings and guarantees productive discussion. For solo readers, it encourages a deeper examination of a multi-layered text. *Please note that this is a companion guide only. It does not contain the text of the original novel.*
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Lincoln in the Bardo and the story collection Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. The breakout book from "the funniest writer in America"--not to mention an official "Genius"--his first nonfiction collection ever. George Saunders's first foray into nonfiction is comprised of essays on literature, travel, and politics. At the core of this unique collection are Saunders's travel essays based on his trips to seek out the mysteries of the "Buddha Boy" of Nepal; to attempt to indulge in the extravagant pleasures of Dubai; and to join the exploits of the minutemen at the Mexican border. Saunders expertly navigates the works of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Esther Forbes, and leads the reader across the rocky political landscape of modern America. Emblazoned with his trademark wit and singular vision, Saunders's endeavor into the art of the essay is testament to his exceptional range and ability as a writer and thinker.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the novel Lincoln in the Bardo and the story collection Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. Hailed by Thomas Pynchon as "graceful, dark, authentic, and funny," George Saunders now surpasses his New York Times Notable Book, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, with this bestselling collection of stories set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape. One of Entertainment Weekly’s Ten Best Books of the Year "Artful and sophisicated... truly unusual. Imagine Lewis's Babbitt thrown into the backseat of a car going cross-country, driven by R. Crumb, Matt Groening, Lynda Barry, Harvey Pekar, or Spike Jonze." -- The New York Times "Saunders is a provocateur, a moralist, a zealot, a lefty, and a funny, funny writer, and the stories in Pastoralia delight. We're very luck to have them." -- Esquire
**Please note that this is a short illustrated work which will work best on a colour device** An enchanting and darkly comic fable of human greed and nature, from the Man Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo, exquisitely illustrated by Chelsea Cardinal Fox 8 has always been curious, and a bit of a daydreamer. And, by hiding outside houses at dusk and listening to children's bedtime stories, he has learned to speak 'Yuman'. The power of words and the stories built from them is intoxicating for a fox with a poetic soul, but there is 'danjur' on the horizon: a new shopping mall is being built, cutting off his pack's food supply. To save himself and his fellow foxes, Fox 8 will have to set out on a harrowing quest from the wilds of nature deep into the dark heart of suburbia.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Man Booker Prize-winning novel Lincoln in the Bardo and the story collection Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. Talking candy bars, baby geniuses, disappointed mothers, castrated dogs, interned teenagers, and moral fables—all in this hilarious and heartbreaking collection from an author hailed as the heir to Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon. "The first thing you ought to know is that Saunders is the funniest writer in America... [But] Saunders's laughs are a cover, a diversion, beneath which reside some profoundly serious intentions regarding the morality of how we live and hte power of love and immanent death to transform us into vastly better creatures... I can't think of another writer who would try to do what Saunders is doing, or anything close to it. This is an important book."—The Nation "Saunders is a hilarious, wicked, and pitch-perfect satirist of our times, of course, but for a satirist he has a whole lot of heart."—Esquire
This timely volume explores the signal contribution George Saunders has made to the development of the short story form in books ranging from CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (1996) to Tenth of December (2013). The book brings together a team of scholars from around the world to explore topics ranging from Saunders’s treatment of work and religion to biopolitics and the limits of the short story form. It also includes an interview with Saunders specially conducted for the volume, and a preliminary bibliography of his published works and critical responses to an expanding and always exciting creative œuvre. Coinciding with the release of the Saunders’ first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo (2017), George Saunders: Critical Essays is the first book-length consideration of a major contemporary author’s work. It is essential reading for anyone interested in twenty-first century fiction.
It was my attempt in this story to affix a motive for this disaster. This narrator's motive is a complete and utter fabrication. However, as an author, I have always wondered what may be inside the mind of a person who can plan and execute such carnage. As a result, I used a medical tool to outline the steps during a person's descent into a schizophrenic state of mind. This process, as is the case with most human events, can happen suddenly, or, as in this instance, over many years. I have thus entitled each section of the descent in my narrator's story by the medical terms given at the end of the story in Conrad's Stage Model of Beginning Schizophrenia. I have also used a story framework taken from the Buddhist term "Bardo," which has been used before, most notably by author George Saunders, in his popular and award-winning novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. In my story, however, as you will see, the narrator has no moral conscience, as he has already become medically insane. Of course, since this man never survived, one can only speculate about what was going on inside his mind, and this is my attempt to do just that. As I am a believer of Buddhist and Hindu philosophy, I do not want my reader to misconstrue the fact that the narrator has employed such a philosophy and its terminologies/characters. He is, to use the literary terminology, an "untrustworthy" narrator.Finally, I have purposely left out the actual name of the perpetrator, even though most readers will instantly recognize him. I simply did not want to dignify him with a name. It's as simple as that. I used actual research from his life, and his experiences, and the gun purchase statistics at the end were provided by the FBI. These statistics speak for themselves, and one would hope readers might understand the underlying "problem" of gun control that is an integral part of my narrative.
This study examines the fiction of contemporary American author George Saunders in terms of how it presents situations applicable to the chief notions of posthumanist ethics and how these conceptions concern nonhuman animals, which are prevalent in his writing. Posthumanist ethics can help us understand what is at play in Saunders’s fiction. Meanwhile, his texts can help us understand what is at stake in posthumanist ethics. This interdisciplinary project may be beneficial both to conceiving new notions of ethics that are more inclusive and, more implicitly, to understanding the relevance of Saunders’s fiction to the current American sociocultural climate.
Abraham Lincoln's face is on the penny and the five-dollar bill. His name graces towns and schools and luxury motor cars. In Washington, he is a seated god twenty feet tall in his marble temple. He ended slavery and brought our country through a civil war. What if it all was because of a woman? Auburn-haired Ann Rutledge, feisty and fed-up with propriety, is frontier royalty, the 18-year-old daughter of the founder of the rough little frontier village of New Salem, Illinois, where the 22-year-old Abe Lincoln comes looking for work. She is lively and literate and funny, and Abe is straight off his daddy's farm with jug ears and one change of clothes. Homely and poor, but full of high ambition, Lincoln courts the dazzling red-haired woman who comes into his life like a revelation. In the spell of their feelings, the lovers question the limits in their lives and boldly dream of a better future. But she is engaged to another man. Readers who enjoyed Doris Kearns Goodwin's bestselling Lincoln book Team of Rivals, Steven Spielberg's blockbuster film Lincoln, and George Saunders' Lincoln in the Bardo will marvel again at this very different and compelling tale of Lincoln as a young man. Not a grand historical treatment but a lyrical telling of a deeply personal tale, ABE & ANN dares to give readers an earnest but untutored Lincoln whose humanity every reader can share, who was weak before he was strong, frightened before he was bold, and deeply in love with a woman whose admiration confirmed his belief in the greatness within him.