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David Wroblewski | The Story of Edgar Sawtelle with Uwem Akpan | Say You're One of Them

Tue, November 17, 2009 7:30 P.M.
Parkway Central Library

Cost: FREE

The most successful debut novel of 2008, David Wroblewski’s The Story of Edgar Sawtelle remained on the New York Times Best Sellers list for 39 weeks, was an Oprah Book Club Selection, and garnered widespread critical acclaim. Born mute, speaking in a sign language of his own invention, Edgar Sawtelle led an idyllic childhood on his parents' remote farm, where, for generations, the Sawtelles have raised and trained a highly intelligent fictional breed of dog. But Edgar’s life is soon marked by tragedy when his father is found murdered and—in a modern retelling of Hamlet— his uncle begins to insinuate himself into the absent man’s place. Moving beyond the simple story of boy and dog, Wroblewski brilliantly examines the limits of language and the elemental forces of love, loss and revenge. Stephen King praised, “I closed the book with that regret readers feel only after experiencing the best stories: It’s over, you think, and I won’t read another one this good for a long, long time.”

Uwem Akpan’s debut collection of short stories, Say You’re One of Them, has earned rave reviews from dozens of major authors and critics; was featured on many “Best of 2008” booklists; and was recently chosen as a 2009 Oprah Book Club Selection. Entertainment Weekly proclaimed “Awe is the only appropriate response to Uwem Akpan’s stunning debut…a collection of five stories so ravishing and sad that I regret ever wasting superlatives on fiction that was merely very good.” Inspired to write by the “humor and endurance of the poor,” Akpan captures with grace and dignity the horrors of modern Africa as seen through the eyes of children. Impossible to forget, the collection renders lives of unimaginable deprivation into stories that are nothing short of transcendent.




Parkway Central Library
1901 Vine Street (between 19th and 20th Streets on the Parkway)
Philadelphia, PA 19103