The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

David Wroblewski

A literary debut of stark and striking brilliance – a coming-of-age story, set in the remote wilderness of northern Wisconsin.

Born mute and able to communicate only by sign, the brilliant Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents Gar and Trudy. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomised by Almondine, Edgar’s lifelong companion. But when his beloved father mysteriously dies, Edgar blames himself, if only because his muteness left him unable to summon help. Grief-stricken and bewildered by his mother’s desperate affair with her dead husband’s brother, Edgar’s world unravels one spring night when, in the falling rain, he sees his father’s ghost. After a botched attempt to prove that his uncle orchestrated Gar’s death, Edgar flees into the Chequamegon wilderness leading three yearling dogs. Yet his need to face his father’s murderer, and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs, turn Edgar ever homeward. When he returns, nothing is as he expects, and Edgar must choose between revenge or preserving his family legacy…

Reviews of The Story of Edgar Sawtelle

    • ‘I read it last summer and I could not stop. It’s also a first novel, a true labour of love.’ Audrey Niffenegger, Guardian (Books of the Year)
    • ‘Stately and expansive narrative. Wroblewski’s story builds on foundations provided by past literature but has an originality all its own.’ Nick Rennison, Sunday Times
    • ‘It must be the closest anyone came in 2008 to writing the “Great American Novel”.’ Guardian (Books of the Year)
    • ‘[A] most enchanting debut novel. A great, big, mesmerising read. Pick up this book and expect to feel very, very reluctant to put it down.’ New York Times
    • ‘A big-hearted novel you can fall into, get lost in and finally emerge from reluctantly. Tender and suspenseful … grand and unforgettable.’ Washington Post
    • ‘I flat-out loved “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle”.’ Stephen King
    • ‘An incredible journey that seems to have everything going for it; the beauty and flair of a great literary novel, the scale and pacing of a fantasy epic, and the absorbing thrill-ride of any glorious rites-of-passage adventure from our collective childhoods.’ Sunday Business Post
    • Scotsman (Books of the Year)
    • ‘Remarkable.’ Uncut magazine (Books of the Year)