Lincoln in the Bardo
By George Saunders
Why this book?
George Saunders is the kind of author who makes his readers believe that anything is possible, and I would follow him anywhere. This strange and lyrical novel grew out of a small kernel of historical fact: in 1862, while Abraham Lincoln was in the White House and the country was in the midst of the Civil War, Lincoln lost his 11-year-old son Willie to typhoid fever, and he was so devastated that he visited the cemetery where the boy had been laid to rest, to hold the child in his arms one last time. The story is told in bits and pieces, from a chorus of narrators, including (most prominently) a number of ghosts who have lingered in the cemetery, unable to move on to whatever comes next.
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