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On sale

29th August 2024

Price: £25

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Selected: Hardcover / ISBN-13: 9780349147086

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‘A story-telling bonfire as enthralling in its pages as it is illuminating of our fragile and complicated humanity. Familiaris is as expansive and enlightening a saga as has ever been written’ Tom Hanks

‘Impossibly wise, impossibly ambitious, impossibly beautiful’ Richard Russo

‘An American tour de force’ Colum McCann

Spring 1919, and John Sawtelle’s imagination has got him into trouble…again. Now John and his newlywed wife, Mary, along with their two best friends and their three dogs, are setting off for Wisconsin’s north woods, where they hope to make a fresh start – and to live a life of meaning, purpose, and adventure. But the place they are headed for is far stranger and more perilous than they realize, and it will take all their ingenuity, along with a few new friends – human, animal, and otherworldly – to realise their dreams.

By turns hilarious and heartbreaking, mysterious and enchanting, Familiaris takes readers on an unforgettable journey from the halls of a small-town automobile factory, through an epic midwestern firestorm and an ambitious WWII dog training program, examining the dynamics of love and friendship, the vexing nature of families, the universal desire to create something lasting and beautiful, and of course, the species-long partnership between Homo sapiens and Canis familiaris.


Kirkus starred review
A great American novel of people and passions and ideas - and, of course, dogs... Already having drawn comparisons to Russo, Irving, Strout, McCarthy, and Gilbert, with García Márquez added here, Wroblewski earns them all, amply rewarding readers who have been waiting impatiently for 15 years. For all the eons it may take to read it, this colossus of a book will own you, and you will weep to be freed
Colum McCann, National Book Award winner, author of Apeirogon, Let the Great World Spin, and American Mother
Tender, ambitious, fierce, deeply human, and of course wonderfully canine, David Wroblewski's second novel is an American tour de force. A story spun out over generations, to be read for generations, this is a big brave book that is old-fashioned in the very best sense of the word
Tom Hanks
By taking us back to the origins of the Sawtelle family, Wroblewski has set a story-telling bonfire as enthralling in its pages as it is illuminating of our fragile and complicated humanity. Familiaris is as expansive and enlightening a saga that has ever been written
Ron Rash, author of Serena and The Caretaker
David Wroblewski is one of the few contemporary authors who can create a world that the reader doesn't merely visit but fully inhabits. And what a world it is, rich with love and joy and heartbreak. And wonder, especially in the way human and canine form inseparable bonds. It has been a long wait for a new Wroblewski novel. The wait is worth it
Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize winner, author of the North Bath trilogy (Nobody’s Fool, Everybody’s Fool, and Somebody’s Fool
Suppose you could do one impossible thing," John Sawtelle says in David Wroblewski's stunning new novel Familiaris. What would you do? Clearly, what the author would do and has done is write this impossibly wise, impossibly ambitious, impossibly beautiful book
Margot Livesay
I adore Familiaris. David Wroblewski is such a wonderfully inventive writer, he knows so much - how to test a tractor, how to make a table, how to borrow money, how to see the future - but best of all he is a writer of extraordinary characters, human and canine, who will take up residence in your mind and heart. A dazzling and irresistible novel
Joan Silber, National Book Award finalist and author of National Book Critics Circle and Pen Faulkner winner Improvement, and Lucky Us
No writer understands the depths of dogs' natures the way David Wroblewski does, and once again we have a vital, absorbing, and remarkable fiction fuelled by this understanding. Familiaris is a rare novel, modest and epic