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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Summer 2019

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Waiting for Eden
By (author): Elliot Ackerman
9781101971567 Paperback, Trade English General Trade FICTION / Literary Sep 03, 2019
$22.00 CAD
Active 5.14 x 7.92 x 0.42 in 144 pages Vintage
From the National Book Award finalist, a breathtakingly spare and shattering new novel that explores the unseen aftereffects—and unacknowledged casualties—of war.

Eden was once big and bold and physical. His fellow Marines nicknamed him “BASE Jump.” He loved to wrap his body around his wife’s when they slept at night. But now Eden lies in a bed, unable to move or speak. His wife Mary spends every day on the sofa in his hospital room. He has never even met their young daughter. And he will never again see the friend and fellow soldier who didn’t make it back home—the soldier who narrates the novel as he waits for Eden to finally, mercifully die and join him in whatever comes after.

But one Christmas, on the single day Mary is not at his bedside, Eden’s re-ordered consciousness flickers back to life. As he struggles to find a way to communicate, some troubling truths about his marriage—and about his life before he went to war—come to the surface. Is Eden the same man he once was: a husband, a friend, a father-to-be? When so much is lost, what makes a life worth living?

A piercingly insightful, deeply felt meditation on loyalty and betrayal, love, friendship, and fear, Waiting for Eden is a heartbreaking, humane, and subtly hopeful tour de force.

Story Locale: San Antonio, Texas

MOMENTUM: Ackerman’s previous book, Dark at the Crossing, was widely acclaimed and short-listed for the National Book Award. It was chosen by The Washington Post, NPR, Vogue, The Christian Science Monitor, and several other outlets as a best book of the year.

IDEAL INTRODUCTION: This is Ackerman’s most accessible novel thus far, and its length, setting, and themes make it a perfect entry point to his work.

UNPUTDOWNABLE: This very short novel begs to be read in a single sitting and is impossible to put aside. These qualities will likely have added reader appeal at a paperback price point.

SMALL PACKAGE, BIG IDEAS:Waiting for Eden pairs its slim profile with an exploration of an incredible breadth of profound questions. Can one person’s pain outweigh another’s? What does it mean to be a parent? What are our basic human obligations to each other? Can a life, even when damaged and reduced, contain meaning? This book is a delicate snack that packs a protein bar’s punch.

MEDIA MAVEN: Between his work as a journalist and his war experiences, Ackerman is an impressive presence in the media. He is now a regular contributor at CNN, and his other broadcast appearances include The Colbert Report, NPR’s Talk of the Nation, Meet the Press, MSNBC, Fox News, Al Jazeera, BBC, and PBS NewsHour.

ELLIOT ACKERMAN is the author of the novels Dark at the Crossing, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and Green on Blue. His writings have appeared in Esquire, The New Yorker, The Atlantic, and The New York Times Magazine, among other publications, and his stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories. He is both a former White House Fellow and Marine and served five tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan, where he received the Silver Star, the Bronze Star for Valor, and the Purple Heart. He divides his time between New York City and Washington, D.C.

Author Residence: New York City

Author Hometown: Los Angeles

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Advance praise for Waiting for Eden:

“[Ackerman] is one of the best soldier-writers of his generation.”—The Washington Post

“The Tim O’Brien of our era—an unflinching guide to the mental, physical, and familial toll of war.”—Vogue

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