The outstanding short-story writer George Saunders
seems to have expanded the boundaries of fiction and kinda the whole concept of a “ghost story” with his first novel Lincoln in the Bardo
. Using the death of President Lincoln’s eleven-year-old son Willie and the story of Lincoln, in a state of deep mourning, visiting the boys tomb and physically holding the body as a jumping off point, the novel unfurls through a whole chorus of character’s each with a unique voice and each being….well…ghosts. The novel takes place in the bardo - a Tibetan word that refers to an intermediate space between life and death - and reads much like a play with characters coming and going at a dizzying pace, yet Saunders holds it all together with his considerable skill. Lincoln in the Bardo
is heartbreaking, but unlike anything you are likely to read for some time. Check it out and read it now or wait for what sounds like a truly incredible audio
version coming to the KPL collection soon.