Magazine May 29, 2017, Issue

Enlightened Lincoln

Willie Lincoln, 1855 (Wikipedia)
Lincoln in the Bardo: A Novel, by George Saunders (Random House, 367 pp., $28)

In February 1862, Willie Lincoln, the eleven-year-old son of Abraham and Mary, died of typhoid. His parents were, by every account, shattered, and in the following days the president reportedly made solitary nighttime visits to the crypt in which his son’s corpse had been interred.

George Saunders, already esteemed for his short stories and essays, takes one such visit as the premise of his first novel, which is among the less likely and more moving works of fiction I have read.

It is also among the hardest to explain. The “bardo” of its title comes from Tibetan Buddhism and refers, among other

In This Issue

Articles

Features

Books, Arts & Manners

Sections

Letters

Letters

Girl with Bull I read Jay Nordlinger’s piece about Fearless Girl (“Girl, Misplaced,” May 1) and her placement opposite Charging Bull and agree that it’s an injustice that the new sculpture ...
The Week

The Week

‐ We were for firing Comey before the Democrats were against it. ‐ President Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who had made himself eminently fireable. Last July, Comey took it ...
Poetry

Poetry

MOONLIGHT IN NASHUA The moonlight rouses me at half past three, piercing through thick curtains I had drawn, but for this gap. My heavy-lidded eyes return the glare. What’s this bald rock to me but ...

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Illegal leaks of classified information should be treated as a serious offense. But they would be easier to prevent if less information were classified.