George Saunders

Saunders and Grann Carnegie Medals for Excellence Finalists

Two widely acclaimed books published earlier this year by Penguin Random House imprints are among the finalists for the 2018  Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence in Fiction and Nonfiction, bestowed by the American Library Association:     

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FICTION LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders (Random House) NONFICTION KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON: The Osage Murders and the Birth of the FBI by David Grann (Doubleday) Mr. Saunders’s novel won the Man Booker Prize in October.  Mr. Grann’s work is a finalist for a 2017 National Book Award in the Nonfiction category. View the complete list of finalists here. Established in 2012, the Andrew Carnegie Medals for Excellence serve as an ALA guide to help adults select quality reading material. The newest winners will be announced on February 11, 2018 during the ALA Midwinter Meeting & Exhibits in Denver. Each Carnegie Medal winner will receive $5,000.

RH’s LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders 2017 Man Booker Winner

“The form and style of this utterly original novel, reveals a witty, intelligent, and deeply moving narrative,”  Lola, Baroness Young, Chair of Judges, is describing the rapturously reviewed and New York Times number one bestselling LINCOLN IN THE BARDO by George Saunders which has won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for Fiction, one of the most renowned annual international literary honors.  First awarded in 1969, the Prize is open for writers of any nationality, writing in English, and published in the U.K.

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LINCOLN IN THE BARDO is published in the U.S. as a Random House hardcover and e-book, and a Random House Audio.  Penguin Random House Canada distributes the Random House edition. Writing in the New York Times Book Review, Colson Whitehead said of the novel: “A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.  Here is a crucible for heroic American identity; fearful but unflagging; hopeful even in tragedy; staggering, however tentatively, toward a better world.” Congratulation to George Saunders, his editor Andy Ward, the Random House and Random House Audio publication teams, and all our 2017 Man Booker short and long listed authors published across our imprints. As their publisher, we are humbled by the recognition bestowed in 2017 upon Nobel Literature Laureate Kazuo Ishiguro, our four Pulitzer Prize winners, and now George Saunders as recipients of this year’s highest literary honors

Andy Ward on George Saunders’ LINCOLN IN THE BARDO

George Saunders book buzzAndy Ward, Vice President, Editor in Chief, Random House, offers insights into the editing of this week’s Igloo Book Buzz selection, George Saunders’ LINCOLN IN THE BARDO:  “I’d be lying if I said I had any idea what a novel by George Saunders would look like. This is a guy who was fiercely devoted to the short story

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form – who once actually said, ‘A novel is a story that hasn’t figured out how to be short yet.’ But then, one day in September 2015, the draft appeared in my inbox, with a simple message: ‘Here it is.’ I opened the file. It was … historical fiction. It was … a story told by ghosts … in a swirling chorus of voices, oral-history style … unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night in 1862 … starring Abraham Lincoln and his recently departed, 11-year-old son, Willie… a novel that blended fiction and nonfiction. But given that it’s George, I can’t say I was surprised. Thrilled is probably the better word. Thrilled by the formal innovation, the total commitment to the idea, and the central story of a father trying to come to terms with the loss of his beloved son.” [caption id="attachment_5187" align="alignright" width="262"]George Saunders George Saunders[/caption] In a New York Times Book Review cover review of LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, Penguin Random House author Colson Whitehead wrote, in part, “It’s a very pleasing thing to watch a writer you have enjoyed for years reach an even higher level of achievement. To observe him or her consolidate strengths, share with us new reserves of talent and provide the inspiration that can only come from a true artist charting hidden creative territory. George Saunders pulled that trick off with Tenth of December…. How gratifying and unexpected that he has repeated the feat with Lincoln in the Bardo, his first novel and a luminous feat of generosity and humanism…. Here is a crucible for a heroic American identity: fearful but unflagging; hopeful even in tragedy; staggering, however tentatively, toward a better world. The father must say goodbye to his son, the son must say goodbye to the father. Abraham Lincoln must stop being the father to a lost boy and assume his role as a father to a nation, one on the brink of cataclysm.” More praise has been heaped on Mr. Saunders and LINCOLN IN THE BARDO. Here is a small sampling: “Opening a George Saunders book feels like falling into a lucid dream: a world so fantastically vivid and strange that it wouldn’t be entirely surprising to wake up and find some new, untraceable stamp on your passport. A master of the short form for more than two decades, Saunders has finally produced his first full length novel — though that word hardly begins to convey the literary wonder contained within its pages, an extraordinary alchemy of free-verse ghost story, tender father-son devotional, and backdoor presidential biography….wild high-wire pastiche. He’s always been a dazzlingly clever voice in fiction, but Bardo is something else: a heartfelt marvel, sad and funny and surreal.” — Entertainment Weekly “A stunning depiction of the sixteenth President’s psyche … witty and garrulous … Saunders does a fine job—and has a fine time—quickening his little necropolis to literary life…These are the voices of fiction, not history, but they are also the voices of history still having to be made, with whatever hopelessness, in whatever time.”—New Yorker “A brilliant, Buddhist reimagining of an American story of great loss and great love… Saunders has risen an unsentimental novel of Shakespearean proportions, gorgeously stuffed with tragic characters, bawdy humor, terrifying visions, throat-catching tenderness, and a galloping narrative, all twined around the luminous cord connecting a father and son and backlit by a nation engulfed in fire.”—Elle In case you missed it, check out this recent feature: Nearly 60 Colleagues Featured on George Saunders’ LINCOLN IN THE BARDO Random House Audio Title

Nearly 60 Colleagues Featured on George Saunders’ LINCOLN IN THE BARDO Random House Audio Title

george saunders2An unprecedented cast of 166 different voices narrate the Random House Audio edition of LINCOLN IN THE BARDO, the first novel by George Saunders, bestselling author of TENTH OF DECEMBER and a National Book Award nominee. Nearly 60 Penguin Random House colleagues (scroll down to see the list of names) are featured as part of the audiobook cast, led

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by such award-winning actors as Nick Offerman, Carrie Brownstein, Lena Dunham, Ben Stiller, Julianne Moore, Susan Sarandon, Bill Hader and Rainn Wilson. A number of musicians, fellow authors, Saunders’ family and friends also participated. Kelly Gildea directed and produced this audiobook. Random House publishes the hardcover and eBook editions. lincolnUnfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night and narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices both living and dead, LINCOLN IN THE BARDO is an exploration of struggle, death, love and the powers of good and evil. On February 22, 1862, a grief-stricken Abraham Lincoln visits the crypt where his eleven-year-old son was just laid to rest so that he might hold his boy’s body once more. LINCOLN IN THE BARDO is a story told in a thrilling new form that features a theatrical panorama of voices, which reflect how varied the America of that time was by using high diction and low diction, along with beautifully articulate 19th century letters and obscene rants. The audiobook simulates that diversity of voice intended within the book. “I love the idea that by casting actors and non-actors,” Saunders says, “we were able to simulate that ‘I hear America singing’ notion.” Watch  this video: George Saunders on the LINCOLN IN  THE BARDO Audiobook Here is the complete list of participating Penguin Random House colleagues, preceded by the characters (in order of appearance) they gave voice to: DAVID VON DREHLE – Benjamin Dreyer MRS. KATE O’BRIEN – Barbara Fillon ANN BRIGHNEY – Mika Kasuga BERNADETTE EVON – Dhara Parikh DOLORES P. LEVENTROP – Molly Turpin I.B. BRIGG III – Greg Kubie ALBERT TRUNDLE – Lane Jantzen MAXWELL FLAGG – Richard Romaniello TYRON PHILIAN – Jeff Kenyon A SPRINGFIELD NEIGHBOR – Amanda D’Acierno SIMON WEBER – Michael Goldsmith SIMON IVERNESS – Joe Scalora BENJAMIN BROWN FRENCH – Andy Hughes MR. MAXWELL BOISE – Andy Ward JASON TUMM – Dan Musselman SOLDIER (from Bell/Trust) – Noah Eaker C.R. DEPAGE – Louise Quayle JAYNE COSTER – Hilary Redmon JAMES R. GILMORE – Ben Greenberg MARTIN P.S. RINDLAUB – Aaron Blank ROBERT WILSON – Robert Guzman F.B. CARPENTER – Peter Mendesund JOHN S. BARNES – Simon Katz JOHN WIDMER – Michael Gentile THE UTICA “HERALD” – Richard Wylde ORLANDO B. FICKLIN – Phil Stamper-Halpin JAMES MINER – Mike Murray A JOURNALIST (from Piatt) – Sean Baker HORACE WHITE – Cesar Guadamuz SENATOR JAMES HARLAN – Eric Lovaas NATHANIEL HAWTHORNE – David McLaughlin CORDELIA A.P. HARVEY – Susan Kamil CHARLES A. DANA – Patrick Billard ABRAHAM M. GORDON – Oliver Mundy EDWARD J. KEMPF – Tom Russell REV. GEORGE C. NOYES – Simon Tepas CLARK E. CARR – Bill Rood COLONEL THEODORE LYMAN – Bob Quinto W.A. CROFFUT – Henry Williams ALLEN THORNDIKE RICE – Thomas Perry DAVID LOCKE – Dan Zitt LARRY TAGG – David Weller GEORGE B. MCCLELLAN – Hugo Bressin EDWARD EVERETT – Pat Stango CONGRESSMAN CHARLES FRANCIS ADAMS – David Haase TOBIAN CLEARLY – David Phethean JAMES SPICER – Greg Wilson B. MILLBANK – Robin Schiff THEODORE BLASGEN – Michael Rotondo MAUREEN H. HEDGES – Jennifer Rubins ELIZABETH TODD GRIMSLEY – Alaina Waagner LEONARD SWETT – Sam Nicholson “LINCOLN LORE” – Leigh Marchant THOMAS J. CRAUGHWELL – Jeff Weber EMILY WEDGE – Caitlin McKenna MATHILDE WILLIAMS – Avideh Bashirrad MRS. ANTOINETTE BOXER – Kelly Gildea