We have updated our Privacy Policy Please take a moment to review it. By continuing to use this site, you agree to the terms of our updated Privacy Policy.


Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349147086

Price: £25

ON SALE: 29th August 2024

Genre: Fiction & Related Items / Religious & Spiritual Fiction

Select a format:


Disclosure: If you buy products using the retailer buttons above, we may earn a commission from the retailers you visit.


‘An epic novel… David takes us on an extraordinary journey that brilliantly interweaves history, philosophy, adventure, and mysticism to explore the meaning of love, friendship and living your life’s true purpose’ Oprah Winfrey

‘A story-telling bonfire as enthralling in its pages as it is illuminating of our fragile and complicated humanity. Familiaris is as expansive and enlightening a saga as has ever been written’ Tom Hanks

‘Impossibly wise, impossibly ambitious, impossibly beautiful’ Richard Russo

‘An American tour de force’ Colum McCann

Spring 1919, and John Sawtelle’s imagination has got him into trouble…again. Now John and his newlywed wife, Mary, along with their two best friends and their three dogs, are setting off for Wisconsin’s north woods, where they hope to make a fresh start – and to live a life of meaning, purpose, and adventure. But the place they are headed for is far stranger and more perilous than they realize, and it will take all their ingenuity, along with a few new friends – human, animal, and otherworldly – to realise their dreams.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, mysterious and enchanting, Familiaris takes readers on an unforgettable journey from the halls of a small-town automobile factory, through an epic midwestern firestorm and an ambitious WWII dog training program, examining the dynamics of love and friendship, the vexing nature of families, the universal desire to create something lasting and beautiful, and of course, the species-long partnership between Homo sapiens and Canis familiaris.


By taking us back to the origins of the Sawtelle family, Wroblewski has set a story-telling bonfire as enthralling in its pages as it is illuminating of our fragile and complicated humanity. Familiaris is as expansive and enlightening a saga that has ever been written
Tom Hanks
No writer understands the depths of dogs' natures the way David Wroblewski does, and once again we have a vital, absorbing, and remarkable fiction fuelled by this understanding. Familiaris is a rare novel, modest and epic
Joan Silber, National Book Award finalist and author of National Book Critics Circle and Pen Faulkner winner Improvement, and Lucky Us
Suppose you could do one impossible thing," John Sawtelle says in David Wroblewski's stunning new novel Familiaris. What would you do? Clearly, what the author would do and has done is write this impossibly wise, impossibly ambitious, impossibly beautiful book
Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of the North Bath trilogy (Nobody’s Fool, Everybody’s Fool, and Somebody’s Fool
Tender, ambitious, fierce, deeply human, and of course wonderfully canine, David Wroblewski's second novel is an American tour de force. A story spun out over generations, to be read for generations, this is a big brave book that is old-fashioned in the very best sense of the word
Colum McCann, National Book Award winner, author of Apeirogon, Let the Great World Spin, and American Mother
As we discovered last year with The Covenant of Water (over 700 pages), summer is the perfect time to fully immerse yourself in the world of a long novel - just make sure you leave extra room in your carry-on!
A great American novel of people and passions and ideas - and, of course, dogs... Already having drawn comparisons to Russo, Irving, Strout, McCarthy, and Gilbert, with García Márquez added here, Wroblewski earns them all, amply rewarding readers who have been waiting impatiently for 15 years. For all the eons it may take to read it, this colossus of a book will own you, and you will weep to be freed
Kirkus starred review
Spellbinding... this warm, big-hearted novel pays tribute to the joys of curiosity and creation and turns out to be surprisingly funny, even as storm clouds gather on the family's horizon
Minneapolis Star Tribune
This great American novel bustles with life, and if it takes all summer to read it, who cares
David Wroblewski is one of the few contemporary authors who can create a world that the reader doesn't merely visit but fully inhabits. And what a world it is, rich with love and joy and heartbreak. And wonder, especially in the way human and canine form inseparable bonds. It has been a long wait for a new Wroblewski novel. The wait is worth it
Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Caretaker
I adore Familiaris. David Wroblewski is such a wonderfully inventive writer, he knows so much - how to test a tractor, how to make a table, how to borrow money, how to see the future - but best of all he is a writer of extraordinary characters, human and canine, who will take up residence in your mind and heart. A dazzling and irresistible novel
Margot Livesay