At long last, George Saunders — modern master of the short story — has written a novel.
"Lincoln in the Bardo," his first full-length work of fiction, will hit shelves in February. While many have been waiting years for this book, the audiobook promises to be a spectacle, too.
According to a preview from Penguin Random House Audio, the audiobook has a 166-person cast with more big names than a Hollywood blockbuster.
Saunders himself will voice one of the characters, alongside Nick Offerman, David Sedaris, Carrie Brownstein, Ben Stiller, Susan Sarandon, Julianne Moore, Don Cheadle, Jeffrey Tambor, Patrick Wilson, Keegan-Michael Key and more.
(Did I mention Miranda July, Lena Dunham, Bill Hader, Megan Mullally, Kat Dennings, Mike O'Brien, Bradley Whitford, Jeff Tweedy and Rainn Wilson? Also on the cast list is memoirist Mary Karr, who is a colleague of Saunders' at Syracuse University.)
Saunders, who has a reputation for the strange, the dark, and the humorous, has written a book that truly requires this kind of casting. "Lincoln in the Bardo" takes place over the course of one night in a graveyard, when Abraham Lincoln goes to visit his young son's body, still stored in a mausoleum. The book is narrated by the crowd of stubborn, nosy, lonely ghosts who wander the cemetery grounds, observing Lincoln's mournful visit.
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If you've never read George Saunders
Where to start? George Saunders has four collections, several novellas and one story that was printed on a Chipotle cup.
In the two decades since his first story collection was published, he has swept up a heap of accolades, from National Magazine Awards to a MacArthur Fellowship to a spot on The New York Times Book Review's 10 best books of the year list.
Dive into the mind of George Saunders with these short stories, available online.
A young boy with an extremely active imagination stumbles across a man trying to freeze to death in the woods. Read it now.
A man attempts to impress his daughter and compete with his neighbors by purchasing Semplica Girls — essentially human lawn ornaments. Read it now.
This story won a World Fantasy Award for Short Fiction in 2006. It follows a public relations officer for the Air Force who has a difficult job: spinning brutal accidents and atrocities into more palatable headlines. Read it now.