Monday, 22 September 2008

“The Story of Edgar Sawtelle” - Oprah's pick

On Friday’s programme of “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” Ms. Winfrey announced the latest Oprah book club pick: “The Story of Edgar Sawtelle,” the debut novel by David Wroblewski, which was released only in June and was well received by critics.

"I think this book is right up there with the greatest American novels ever written, I really do" - Oprah Winfrey.
Grand and unforgettable.
— Ron Charles, Washington Post Book World (cover review).

Born mute, speaking only in sign, Edgar Sawtelle leads an idyllic life with his parents on their farm in remote northern Wisconsin. For generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a fictional breed of dog whose thoughtful companionship is epitomized by Almondine, Edgar's lifelong friend and ally. But with the unexpected return of Claude, Edgar's paternal uncle, turmoil consumes the Sawtelles' once peaceful home. When Edgar's father dies suddenly, Claude insinuates himself into the life of the farm--and into Edgar's mother's affections.

Grief-stricken and bewildered, Edgar tries to prove Claude played a role in his father's death, but his plan backfires--spectacularly. Forced to flee into the vast wilderness lying beyond the farm, Edgar comes of age in the wild, fighting for his survival and that of the three yearling dogs who follow him. But his need to face his father's murderer and his devotion to the Sawtelle dogs turn Edgar ever homeward.

David Wroblewski grew up in rural central Wisconsin, not far from the Chequamegon National Forest, where The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is set. He earned his master's degree from the Warren Wilson MFA Program for Writers. Over the years he has lived in La Crosse, Minneapolis, and Austin, Texas. Currently, he makes his home in Colorado with the writer Kimberly McClintock, their dog Lola, and their cat Mitsou.

In high school, David won a statewide arts competition with a short story about a pack of wolves. At the University of Wisconsin, he declared himself a theater major, imagining he would someday make a living as an actor; small stage roles in Equus and West Side Story convinced him otherwise. But by the time he graduated, he had become fascinated with the practical and collaborative art of making software and took a degree in computer science. His current profession is technical programmer with Pearson Technolgies, specialising in education-based text analysis technologies, and his advanced specialties as: GUI (systems interface) design, heuristic graph search, planning and resource reservations algorithms, distributed systems architecture.

He holds patent number 5,339,391: "Computer Display Unit with Attribute-Enhanced Scroll Bar", co-authored with Will Hill and Tim McCandless.

The Story of Edgar Sawtelle is his first novel. David Wroblewski will be appearing at the Nashvile, Southern Festival of Books, October 10-12, at the Wisconsin Book Fair October 15-19 and the Miami Book Festival in November.


* Publisher: HarperCollins
* Pub. Date: June 2008
* ISBN-13: 9780061374227
* Current Sales Rank: 4
* 576pp

Other Formats:
* Hardcover
* Paperback - Large Print
* Compact Disc - Unabridged, 18 CDs, 21.5 hrs.

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