Undiscovered Country

A Novel

2020
Author:

Lin Enger

Undiscovered Country

Now in paperback—a bold reinvention of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and a hair-bristling story of betrayal, revenge, and the possibilities of forgiveness

On a cold November afternoon in northern Minnesota, seventeen-year-old Jesse Matson finds his hunting partner—his father—sprawled on the forest floor, dead of a rifle wound. Authorities rule it a suicide, but Jesse is not convinced. Haunted by the ghost of his dad, and compelled by recently unearthed secrets, he is forced to wrestle with questions of justice and retribution even as he tries to hold his family, and himself, together.

Brings the heft of Shakespearean drama to the north woods of Minnesota. In a cleanly elegant narrative, Enger weaves a winter's tale of betrayal and ghosts, of one son's debt to his father and the wages of vengeance.

Claire Davis, author of Winter Range

On a cold November afternoon in northern Minnesota, seventeen-year-old Jesse Matson finds his hunting partner—his father—sprawled on the forest floor, dead of a rifle wound. Authorities rule it a suicide, but Jesse is not convinced. Haunted by the ghost of his dad, and compelled by recently unearthed secrets, he is forced to wrestle with questions of justice and retribution even as he tries to hold his family, and himself, together.

Undiscovered Country

Lin Enger is author of American Gospel (Minnesota, 2020) and The High Divide, a finalist for awards presented by the Midwest Booksellers, the Society of Midland Authors, and Reading the West. His stories have been published in literary journals including Glimmer Train, Ascent, and American Fiction. A graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, he has received a James Michener Award, a Minnesota State Arts Board Fellowship, and a Jerome travel grant. He teaches English at Minnesota State University Moorhead.

Undiscovered Country

[The] combination of gritty realism and poetic landscape portraiture . . . create a new story of betrayal, adolescent confusion, and loyalty.

Valerie Ryan, Seattle Times

Brings the heft of Shakespearean drama to the north woods of Minnesota. In a cleanly elegant narrative, Enger weaves a winter's tale of betrayal and ghosts, of one son's debt to his father and the wages of vengeance.

Claire Davis, author of Winter Range

With flashes of prose as crisp and haunting as the frozen Minnesota setting.

Publishers Weekly

At once both otherworldly and shockingly real, Undiscovered Country reinvents the conundrum of love and loss facing a modern-day Hamlet. This first novel by Lin Enger is sincerely rendered and honestly invoked.

Tom Bailey, author of The Grace That Keeps This World

Lin Enger starts Undiscovered Country with a literal bang and continues to ratchet up the tension. His characters are vivid and complex, and his descriptions of northern Minnesota in winter are astonishing. This retelling of a Shakespearean tragedy is powerful and engrossing.

Larry Watson, author of Montana 1948

This is a novel of luminous sentences that carry us across a landscape of love and loss to a deeper understanding of our own lives, and of our desire to be forgiven and redeemed. It is a joy to read.

Don J. Snyder, author of The Cliff Walk and Of Time & Memory

Elegantly written.

School Library Journal

Succeeds precisely where so many adaptations of Shakespeare fail: the story is allowed to assume a life of its own while still harnessing the raw energy of Shakespeare’s dramatic power, a story that stays true to the spirit of the original while also producing something that stands on its own, a work that can be fully enjoyed without ever having experienced the original.

Blackbird