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Great Expectations

By Vinson Cunningham
Great Expectations by Vinson Cunningham digital book - Fable

Publisher Description

NATIONAL BESTSELLER • A historic presidential campaign changes the trajectory of a young Black man’s life in the highly anticipated debut novel from one of The New Yorker’s rising stars.

“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.

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About Vinson Cunningham

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.

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