Virgil Wander

Current Stock: 2
UPC: 9780802128782
Author: Leif Enger
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Grove Press (October 2, 2018)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802128785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802128782
  • Product Dimensions: 6.2 x 1 x 9.2 inches

The first novel in ten years from award-winning, million-copy bestselling author Leif Enger, Virgil Wander is an enchanting and timeless all-American story that follows the inhabitants of a small Midwestern town in their quest to revive its flagging heart 

Midwestern movie house owner Virgil Wander is “cruising along at medium altitude” when his car flies off the road into icy Lake Superior. Virgil survives but his language and memory are altered and he emerges into a world no longer familiar to him. Awakening in this new life, Virgil begins to piece together his personal history and the lore of his broken town, with the help of a cast of affable and curious locals―from Rune, a twinkling, pipe-smoking, kite-flying stranger investigating the mystery of his disappeared son; to Nadine, the reserved, enchanting wife of the vanished man, to Tom, a journalist and Virgil’s oldest friend; and various members of the Pea family who must confront tragedies of their own. Into this community returns a shimmering prodigal son who may hold the key to reviving their town.

With intelligent humor and captivating whimsy, Leif Enger conjures a remarkable portrait of a region and its residents, who, for reasons of choice or circumstance, never made it out of their defunct industrial district. Carried aloft by quotidian pleasures including movies, fishing, necking in parked cars, playing baseball and falling in love, Virgil Wander is a swift, full journey into the heart and heartache of an often overlooked American Upper Midwest by a “formidably gifted” (Chicago Tribune) master storyteller.


“Enger does a truly masterful job of synthesizing these various components into a compelling and easily digestible whole. Virgil Wander is a fast-paced, humorous and mystical novel about hope, friendship, love and the relationship between a town and its people.”Bookpage

“[Enger’s] writing leaped out at me – it’s so easy and so vivid and so powerful all at once, and his characters are instantly real.”―Tana French, Vulture

“[Virgil Wander] brings out the charm and downright strangeness of the defiantly normal.”Wall Street Journal

“It’s an expansive vision Enger has, peopled with pretty regular folks but with room for romance and redemption, the drama of the everyman and the everyday…You can be sure you’ve been expertly led into the realm of fiction where everything is possible.”Minneapolis Star Tribune

“Readers who enjoy tenderhearted stories seasoned with a dash of intrigue will find much to like in Virgil Wander… The novel's depiction of how broken souls can begin to mend is both thoughtful and moving. Greenstone may be a town shadowed by bad luck, but those who discover this gentle novel will consider themselves most fortunate.”Shelf Awareness

“The focus of [Enger’s] bright and breathing third novel feels mostly like life itself, in all its smallness and bigness, and what it means to live a good one.”Booklist(starred review)

"Surprises and delights throughout; definitely worth waiting for."Library Journal (starred review)