Since the book's publication, readers have occasionally turned to me with questions. While it's true that I love talking about Edgar's story, I've also found myself admitting that I don't want—and don't have— any final answers , any overarching, ambiguity-smashing point of view. Writing a novel may not absolutely require losing perspective, but I nonetheless have. Edgar, Almondine and the people in their world feel as real to me as anyone I have ever known, and thus, by turns transparent, inexplicable and fascinating. It is as true for the writer as for the reader that any novel worth its ink should be an experience first and foremost—not an essay, not a statement, not an orderly rollout of themes and propositions. All of which is to say: stories, too, are wild things.

I am proud and excited that The Story of Edgar Sawtelle has been selected for Oprah's Book Club . My highest hope is that it does for you the simple work novels were meant for: to create, for days or weeks, that delicious doubled life of the here-and-now folded back upon the there-and-then.

Meet some real-life Sawtelle dogs.


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