2020 Longlist

Virgil Wander


2020 Longlist

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.

About the Author

Leif Enger was raised in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter and producer for Minnesota Public Radio for nearly twenty years. He lives on a farm in Minnesota with his wife and two sons.

Librarian’s Comments

Most readers demand more from one aspect of fiction over others: plot, character, setting, theme, style, mood. With Virgil Wander, Leif Enger slakes every thirst.  Hartford Public Library, USA

Virgil Wander is a delightful novel, written with warmth and charm. It’s full of strange events and quirky characters, but it also captures the way people in a small community care for each other, even as that community materially declines. New Hampshire State Library, USA



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