Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

Fiction & Poetry, Modern & Contemporary Fiction
Hardback Published on: 09/03/2017
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Bookseller Reviews

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Lincoln in the Bardo
A most unusual masterpiece....
I ' d warn you all that you have never read anything like this before. It is an extraordinarily unique and wonderfully inventive novel about Abraham Lincol... READ MORE
Emine at Bromley
Lincoln in the Bardo
A Reinvention of the Novel
So, I thought I'd let Saff' say it all, for fear of not being able to match her astute observations and way with words, her near perfect review, her fantas... READ MORE
Redd at Deansgate
Lincoln in the Bardo
Stunning
I was fortunate enough to receive a proof copy of this title after a fantastic recommend by a fellow bookseller. Despite the graveyard setting and the voic... READ MORE
Saff at Oxford
Lincoln in the Bardo
A Landmark for Fiction
I wonder how many 'landmarks' of fiction we'll see published in our lifetimes? This novel takes you on a promenade-performance-esque journey (journey, al... READ MORE
Ben at Aylesbury
Lincoln in the Bardo
New, Exciting, and Compulsively Readable
Many books are advertised with the promise of delivering something 'new', and most of the time this 'new' thing, style, story, etc. hasn't been done before... READ MORE
Rosie at York
Lincoln in the Bardo
A valuable addition to the American literary canon
This is a book for a very particular type of reader. The form is very original and experimental, and I struggled a bit with it until a friend who had finis... READ MORE
Sarah at Guildford

Synopsis

Shortlisted for the Waterstones Book of the Year 2017

Winner of the Man Booker Prize 2017

The extraordinary first novel by the bestselling, Folio Prize-winning, National Book Award-shortlisted author, George Saunders.

At the dawn of the Civil War Abraham Lincoln nurses a very private grief.

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: electric, 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. Inventing an exhilarating new form, Saunders confirms his status 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?

Arguably the best American short story writer of his generation, George Saunder’s mantelpiece must be groaning under the weight of awards. His best-known collections include The Tenth of December, Civilwarland in Bad Decline and Congratulations, by the Way, Some Thoughts on Kindness.

Read a Waterstones exclusive article on the historical context to Lincoln in the Bardo, with recommended further reading about the American Civil War

  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • ISBN: 9781408871744
  • Number of pages: 368
  • Weight: 684g
  • Dimensions: 234 x 153 mm

Customer Reviews

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Lincoln in the Bardo
A Very Different Experience.
This is an extraordinary novel, unlike any I have ever read. The whole story unfolds over a single night. Abraham Lincoln's young son Willie has died from ... READ MORE
Milton of Campsie  Annie