By Leif Enger
The first novel in ten years from award-winning, million-copy bestselling author Leif Enger, Virgil Wander is an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart
Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is "cruising along at medium altitude" when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals?from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man, to Tom, a journalist and Virgil's oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.
With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Leif Enger conjures a remarkable portrait of a region and its residents, who, for reasons of choice or circumstance, never made it out of their defunct industrial district. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a "formidably gifted" (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller.
Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio before writing his bestselling debut novel Peace Like a River, which won the Independent Publisher Book Award and was one of the Los Angeles Times and Time Magazine's Best Books of the Year. His second novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, was also a national bestseller, No. 8 on Amazon's Top 100 Editors' Picks and a Midwest Booksellers' Choice Award Honor Book for Fiction. He and his wife Robin live in Minnesota.
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- Publication date:
04 Oct 2018
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Virgil's narration is a joy . . . Enger populates down-on-its-luck Greenstone with true characters and gives them diverting plotlines aplenty, but the focus of his bright and breathing third novel feels mostly like life itself, in all its smallness and bigness, and what it means to live a good one. — Booklist, starred review
Enger's first novel in 10 years marks him out as a foremost stylist. His prose is rhapsodic, kaleidoscopic and - I'll say it - enviable. Even more enviable is the rare feat of writing a comedic literary novel that is also a page-turner. He's performing on a trapeze that not many others have even reached for . . . Virgil Wander is a lush crowd-pleaser about meaning and second chances and magic. And in these Trumpian times, isn't that just the kind of book and protagonist we're all searching for? — the New York Times