Award-Winning author George Saunders will be visiting the Hilltop for the Annual Casey-McIlvane Memorial Lecture. Saunders, in conversation with Paul Elie, Senior Fellow of the Berkley Center and Director of the American Pilgrimage Project will discuss the intersectionality between Catholicism, Buddhism, and writing that came together to shape the story of Lincoln in the Bardo. Copies of the title will be available for purchase during the reception at the end of the event. This month's Recommended Reading Book Shelf selections relate to themes suggested by the lecture.
Well-known for his short stories, his first novel Lincoln in the Bardo was awarded the Man Booker Prize in 2017. Described by the New York Times as "A luminous feat of generosity and humanism", the novel unfolds in the Oak Hill Cemetery located here in Georgetown. At its heart is a historical tale that on the night Willie Lincoln was interred at Oak Hill, the grieving President Lincoln visited several times to hold his beloved son a final time. In the novel, 166 of the cemetery's residents take turns telling and expanding on this heartbreaking story. This tale of a bond between father and son becomes a sweeping tale about those who have found themselves in "the bardo," a form of purgatory as described in the Tibetan tradition.
Recommended Reading for April includes books by George Saunders, by Catholic authors and Man Booker Prize winners, about Lincoln, Washington, the Civil War, death, Catholicism, and Buddhism. Search HoyaSearch for more good reads.