Lincoln nel Bardo

Feltrinelli Editore

Febbraio 1862, la Guerra civile è iniziata da un anno, e il presidente degli Stati Uniti, Abraham Lincoln, è alle prese con ciò che sta assumendo tutti i contorni di una catastrofe. Nel frattempo Willie, il figlio prediletto di undici anni, si ammala gravemente e muore. Verrà sepolto a Washington, nel cimitero di Georgetown. A partire da questa scheggia di verità storica – i giornali dell’epoca raccontano che Lincoln si recò nella cripta e aprì la bara per abbracciare il figlio morto – Saunders mette in scena un inedito Aldilà romanzesco popolato di anime in stallo. Il Bardo del titolo, un riferimento al Libro tibetano dei morti, allude al momento di passaggio in cui la coscienza è sospesa tra la morte e la prossima vita. È questo il limbo in cui si aggirano moltitudini di creature ancora troppo attaccate all’esistenza precedente, come Willie, che non riesce a separarsi dal padre, e il padre, che non riesce a separarsi dal figlio. Accompagnati da tre improbabili guide di ascendenza dantesca, assisteremo allo sconvolgimento prodotto nel mondo di queste anime perse dall’arrivo di Willie Lincoln, che è morto e non lo sa, e di suo padre, il presidente, che è come morto ma deve vivere per il bene del proprio paese. Sentiremo le voci – petulanti, nostalgiche, stizzose, accorate – degli spiriti e il controcanto della storia. Leggeremo nei pensieri di Lincoln e nella mente di suo figlio, uniti da un amore che trascende il dolore e il distacco fisico. Il romanzo si svolge in una sola notte, eppure abbraccia le epoche e arriva fino a noi, spaziando in un territorio dove tutto è possibile, dove la logica convive con l’assurdo, le vicende vere con quelle inventate, dove tragedia e farsa non sono due categorie distinte e separate ma un’unica realtà indifferenziata e contraddittoria, che proprio per questo appare spaventosa e viene negata. Come si può vivere, amare e compiere grandi imprese, sapendo che tutto finisce nel nulla? Probabilmente la risposta non esiste, ma Saunders affronta questo nucleo emotivo con tutta l’onestà e la partecipazione che può metterci uno scrittore alle prese con interrogativi così enormi.
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Publisher
Feltrinelli Editore
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Published on
Aug 30, 2017
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Pages
352
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ISBN
9788858829585
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Language
Italian
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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George Saunders
#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
George Saunders
NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY
People • The New York Times Magazine • NPR • Entertainment Weekly • New York • The Telegraph • BuzzFeed • Kirkus Reviews • BookPage • Shelf Awareness

One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.
 
In the taut opener, “Victory Lap,” a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In “Home,” a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill—the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.
 
Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.
 
Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December—through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit—not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should “prepare us for tenderness.”

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

“The best book you’ll read this year.”—The New York Times Magazine
 
“A feat of inventiveness . . . This eclectic collection never ceases to delight with its at times absurd, surreal, and darkly humorous look at very serious subjects. . . . Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time.”—Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
 
“The best short-story writer in English—not ‘one of,’ not ‘arguably,’ but the Best.”—Mary Karr, Time
 
“A visceral and moving act of storytelling . . . No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
“Saunders’s startling, dreamlike stories leave you feeling newly awakened to the world.”—People
 
“It’s no exaggeration to say that short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE


From the Hardcover edition.
George Saunders
Since its publication in 1996, George Saunders’s debut collection has grown in esteem from a cherished cult classic to a masterpiece of the form, inspiring an entire generation of writers along the way. In six stories and a novella, Saunders hatches an unforgettable cast of characters, each struggling to survive in an increasingly haywire world. With a new introduction by Joshua Ferris and a new author’s note by Saunders himself, this edition is essential reading for those seeking to discover or revisit a virtuosic, disturbingly prescient voice.
 
Praise for George Saunders and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline
 
“It’s no exaggeration to say that short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction.”—The Wall Street Journal
 
“Saunders’s satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it’s also ferocious and very funny.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
 
“George Saunders is a writer of arresting brilliance and originality, with a sure sense of his material and apparently inexhaustible resources of voice. [CivilWarLand in Bad Decline] is scary, hilarious, and unforgettable.”—Tobias Wolff
 
“Saunders makes the all-but-impossible look effortless.”—Jonathan Franzen
 
“Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny.”—Zadie Smith
 
“An astoundingly tuned voice—graceful, dark, authentic, and funny—telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times.”—Thomas Pynchon


From the Trade Paperback edition.
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