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George Saunders Re-Imagines A President's Grief With 'Lincoln In The Bardo'

Willie Lincoln was only 11 when he died in February 1862 of typhoid fever. The Lincolns' third son was said to be their favorite, and after Willie was interred in a borrowed mausoleum in Oak Hill Cemetery in Georgetown, his father, Abraham Lincoln, returned to that cemetery several times. Newspapers reported that the president visited the crypt to open his son's coffin and hold his body. It's that image, of Lincoln cradling the corpse of his beloved son in a Pietà pose, that inspires George Saunders' first novel, called Lincoln in the Bardo.


Ward Just: 'An Unfinished Season'

Book critic Maureen Corrigan reviews An Unfinished Season, by Ward Just. He's known for weaving American history and politics into his fiction. This book is set in Chicago during the Eisenhower years.


A Progressively More Timid Film.

Film critic Stephen Schiff reviews "Before and After" the new film starring Meryl Streep and Liam Neeson. . . This will be Stephen's last Fresh Air film review. He'll be going on to a new career in screenwriting. His adaptation for "Lolita" will hit the screen this Fall.

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