By David Wroblewski
The striking debut novel that grew to become a latest classic
Born mute, talking simply in signal, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic existence together with his mom and dad on their farm in distant northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and expert a fictional breed of puppy whose striking reward for companionship is epitomized through Almondine, Edgar's lifelong buddy and best friend. Edgar turns out poised to hold on his family's traditions, but if disaster moves, he unearths his once-peaceful domestic engulfed in turmoil.
Forced to escape into the mammoth wasteland mendacity past the Sawtelle farm, Edgar comes of age within the wild, struggling with for his survival and that of the 3 yearling canines who accompany him, until eventually the day he's compelled to select from leaving perpetually or returning domestic to confront the mysteries he has left unsolved.
Filled with breathtaking scenes—the elemental north woods, the sweep of seasons, an iconic American barn, a fateful imaginative and prescient rendered within the falling rain—The tale of Edgar Sawtelle is a meditation at the limits of language and what lies past, a brilliantly creative retelling of an old tale, and an epic story of devotion, betrayal, and braveness within the American heartland.
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Additional info for The Story of Edgar Sawtelle
His father stayed behind to do evening chores. That winter was especially frigid and sometimes it took longer to bundle up than to cross from the kennel to the back porch. In the evenings they did dishes. She washed, he dried. Sometimes he put the towel over his shoulder and wrapped his arms around her, pressing his hands against her belly and wondering if he would feel the baby. “Here,” she’d say, holding out a steaming plate. ” But reflected in the frosty window over the sink he’d see her smile.
Edgar’s grandfather had been so fascinated that he’d gone to the library and located a book on Mendel and read it cover to cover. What he’d learned occupied his mind in odd moments. He thought back on the vision (if he could call it that) that had descended upon him as he shook Captain’s paw at The Hollow. It was one of those rare days when everything in a person’s life feels connected. He was twenty-five years old, but over the course of the last year his hair had turned steely gray. The same thing had happened to his grandfather, yet his father was edging up on seventy with a jet black mane.
Even if Edgar’s parents remained playfully evasive on the subject of how they’d met, other questions they answered directly. Sometimes they lapsed into stories about Edgar himself, his birth, how they’d worried over his voice, how he and Almondine had played together from before he was out of his crib. Because he worked beside them every day in the kennel—grooming, naming, and handling the dogs while they waited turns for training—he had plenty of chances to sign questions and wait and listen. In quieter moments they even talked about the sad things that had happened.
The Story of Edgar Sawtelle by David Wroblewski