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Long-listed for the 2018 National Book Award in Fiction. At 28 years old, Eli "Berg" Koenigsberg has never encountered a challenge he couldn't push through, until a head injury leaves him with lingering headaches and a weakness for opiates. Berg moves to a remote Northern California town, seeking space and time to recover, but soon finds himself breaking into homes in search of pills. Addled by addiction and chronic pain, Berg meets Alejandro, a reclusive, master boatbuilder, and begins to see a path forward. Alejandro offers Berg honest labor, but more than this, he offers him a new approach to his suffering, a template for survival amid intense pain. Nurtured by his friendship with Alejandro and aided, too, by the comradeship of many in Talinas, Berg begins to return to himself. Written in gleaming prose, this is a story about resilience, community, and what it takes to win back your soul.
McSweeney's, 9781944211554, 240pp.
Publication Date: July 10, 2018
About the Author
Daniel Gumbiner was born and raised in Northern California. He graduated from UC Berkeley in 2011 and now lives in Southern Nevada. The Boatbuilder is his first novel.