Lincoln in the Bardo (Video)

Picked up George Saunders’s new novel Lincoln in the Bardo on Thursday and finished it yesterday. I can’t recommend it enough. It is an unconventional narrative structured around fragments from letters, histories, memoirs as well as the voices of three guides stuck between the living and the dead, who attempt to help a recently deceased Willie Lincoln and his grieving father. These three individuals, along with the other residents of the cemetery, refuse to acknowledge their predicament, but in attempting to help Willie to move beyond this state of limbo, they find the strength to confront their own personal demons.

I don’t want to give too much away. The book is about much more than the relationship between Willie and his father. In fact, I now see it as a meditation on many of the themes that Lincoln strikes in his Second Inaugural Address. Anyway, do yourself a favor and read this book You will not be disappointed.

About the author: Thank you for taking the time to read this post. What next? Scroll down and join the discussion in the comments section. Looking for more Civil War content? You can follow me on Twitter. Check out my forthcoming book, Searching For Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth, which is the first book-length analysis of the black Confederate myth ever published. Pre-order your copy today.

9 comments… add one
  • James Harrigan Feb 20, 2017 @ 6:35

    thanks for the recommendation, Kevin. What did you think of Colson Whitehead’s Underground Railroad?

    • Kevin Levin Feb 20, 2017 @ 6:36

      Another must read.

      • Msb Feb 20, 2017 @ 23:24

        Thanks, Kevin and James. I will get them both (failed to get Underground Railroad previously because it was sold out and new printing hadn’t arrived).

  • Brad Feb 20, 2017 @ 10:52

    I’ve read the reviews and seen the video previously but the book seems too unconventional to me and for me.

    • Kevin Levin Feb 20, 2017 @ 13:03

      Definitely “unconventional” but that is a big part of its appeal. Take a chance.

  • Brad Feb 22, 2017 @ 22:20

    I picked it up and started it tonight. Probably wouldn’t have had you not mentioned it.

    • Kevin Levin Feb 23, 2017 @ 2:46

      Let me know what you think. Enjoy.

  • Brad Mar 25, 2017 @ 5:34

    I finally finished it (after a few fits and starts) and I think it’s definitely worth reading because it explores many different themes. I thank you again for recommending it and giving me that little extra push.

    • Kevin Levin Mar 27, 2017 @ 9:09

      Glad to hear it.

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