Great Expectations: A Novel (Hardcover)

Great Expectations: A Novel By Vinson Cunningham Cover Image
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NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A historic presidential campaign changes the trajectory of a young Black man’s life in the debut novel from Pulitzer Prize finalist Vinson Cunningham, which “expertly captures a distinct moment in American history” (Town & Country, Best Books of 2024 So Far).

“Brilliantly written, piercingly smart, quietly subversive, Great Expectations will be one of the talked-about novels of the year.”—Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin, winner of the National Book Award

“Vinson Cunningham’s novel is a coming-of-age story that captures the soul of America.”—Ron Charles, The Washington Post

I’d seen the Senator speak a few times before my life got caught up, however distantly, with his, but the first time I can remember paying real attention was when he delivered the speech announcing his run for the Presidency.

When David first hears the Senator from Illinois speak, he feels deep ambivalence. Intrigued by the Senator’s idealistic rhetoric, David also wonders how he’ll balance the fervent belief and inevitable compromises it will take to become the United States’ first Black president.

Great Expectations is about David’s eighteen months working for the Senator's presidential campaign. Along the way David meets a myriad of people who raise a set of questions—questions of history, art, race, religion, and fatherhood—that force David to look at his own life anew and come to terms with his identity as a young Black man and father in America.

Meditating on politics and politicians, religion and preachers, fathers and family, Great Expectations is both an emotionally resonant coming-of-age story and a rich novel of ideas, marking the arrival of a major new writer.

About the Author

Vinson Cunningham is a staff writer and a theatre critic at The New Yorker and a Pulitzer Prize Finalist. He co-hosts the podcast "Critics at Large" and his writing has appeared in The New York Times MagazineThe New York Times Book ReviewThe FaderVultureThe Awl, and McSweeney’s. A former staffer on Barack Obama’s first presidential campaign and in his White House, Cunningham has taught at Sarah Lawrence College, the Yale School of Art, and Columbia University's School of the Arts. He lives in New York City.

Praise For…

“Rarer is a debut that announces a talent like Cunningham’s.”The New York Times

“One of the smartest and most involving political novels I’ve read in ages.”—The Wall Street Journal

“Vinson Cunningham’s sparkling debut novel, set during the Obama campaign, earns its comparisons to Henry James.”Slate

“Expertly captures a distinct moment in American history.”Town & Country

“An innovative, resolutely distinctive book . . . ceaselessly searching and inventive . . . indispensable.”The Nation

“Cunningham’s remarkable first novel matches the scale of its namesake.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Alive in its intellectual detours, with Cunningham considering religion, race, sex, film, politics, fatherhood, and more . . . A top-shelf intellectual bildungsroman.”Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“Brilliantly written, piercingly smart, quietly subversive, Great Expectations will be one of the talked-about novels of the year.”—Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin, winner of the National Book Award

“The aptly titled Great Expectations announces Vinson Cunningham as a novelist of singular style, wit, and ambition. Read Great Expectations and see our recent past, our present, and even our future anew.”—Angela Flournoy, author of The Turner House, finalist for the National Book Award

“Vinson Cunningham’s Great Expectations is epic, intimate, and brimming with brilliance. [It’s] is a phenomenal, transfixing work, and Cunningham is a singular, dazzling writer.”—Bryan Washington, author of Family Meal and Memorial

“In Great Expectations, gospel is both a formative rhythm and a means of seduction. Cunningham writes thoughtfully about aspiration, fatalism, and the complexity of bearing witness to the creation of a mythology. I always look forward to reading his work.”—Raven Leilani, New York Times bestselling author of Luster
“Recent history becomes both thrillingly vivid and achingly past in Vinson Cunningham’s spellbinding debut novel, Great Expectations. A coming-of-age novel of the richest, most expansive kind, it’s a rare debut, one that feels both intimate and revelatory.”—Megan Abbott, New York Times bestselling author of The Turnout

“An electrifying first novel and bildungsroman of consummate artistry and sensitivity, honed vision and wit.”—Booklist (starred review)

Great Expectations tackles questions of politics, race, religion, and family with Cunningham’s characteristic poise and insight.”—The Millions

“The vivid attention to detail in Great Expectations creates a singular, and sobering, mood—an ambient rumination on the recent, and seemingly very distant, past.”—The Boston Globe

Product Details
ISBN: 9780593448236
ISBN-10: 0593448235
Publisher: Hogarth
Publication Date: March 12th, 2024
Pages: 272
Language: English