Leif Enger - I Cheerfully Refuse

Wednesday, April 10, 2024 - 7:00pm

Left Bank Books presents Leif Enger, New York Times bestselling, award-winning and "formidably gifted" author, to discuss I Cheerfully Refuse, a career defining tour-de-force!

Enger will personalize and sign copies after the presentation! Personalized and signed copies will be available to be mailed anywhere in the country. For personalized copies, please order before noon on April 9th.

Join us at Left Bank Books
399 N Euclid Ave
St. Louis, MO 63108
Watch the livestream on Left Bank Books' YouTube Page
Please RSVP as space is limited


About the Speaker

Leif Enger grew up in Osakis, Minnesota, and worked as a reporter for Minnesota Public Radio before writing his bestselling debut novel Peace Like a River, which won the Booksense Award for Fiction and was named one of the Year's Best Books by Time Magazine and the Los Angeles Times. His second novel, So Brave, Young, and Handsome, was also a national bestseller. It was a Midwest Booksellers Honor Book, and won the High Plains Book Award for Fiction. His third novel Virgil Wander was longlisted for the Carnegie Medal for Excellence in Fiction, and was named a best book of the year by Amazon, Library Journal, Bookpage, and Chicago Public Library. He lives with his wife in Duluth, MN.


About I Cheerfully Refuse

An April Indie Next Pick

A Most Anticipated Book of 2024 from Literary Hub

A career defining tour-de-force from New York Times bestselling, award-winning and "formidably gifted" (Chicago Tribune) author of Peace Like a River Leif Enger.

A storyteller "of great humanity and huge heart" (Minneapolis Star Tribune), Leif Enger debuted in the literary world with Peace Like a River which sold over a million copies and captured readers' hearts around the globe. Now comes a new milestone in this boldly imaginative author's accomplished, resonant body of work. Set in a not-too-distant America, I Cheerfully Refuse is the tale of a bereaved and pursued musician embarking
under sail on a sentient Lake Superior in search of his departed, deeply beloved, bookselling wife. Rainy, an endearing bear of an Orphean narrator, seeks refuge in the harbors, fogs and remote islands of the inland sea. Encountering lunatic storms and rising corpses from the warming depths, Rainy finds on land an increasingly desperate and illiterate people, a malignant billionaire ruling class, crumbled infrastructure and a lawless society. Amidst the Gulliver-like challenges of life at sea and no safe landings, Rainy is lifted by physical beauty, surprising humor, generous strangers, and an unexpected companion in a young girl who comes aboard. And as his innate guileless nature begins to make an inadvertent rebel of him, Rainy's private quest for the love of his life grows into something wider and wilder, sweeping up friends and foes alike in his strengthening wake.

I Cheerfully Refuse epitomizes the "musical, sometimes magical and deeply satisfying kind of storytelling" (Los Angeles Times) for which Leif Enger is cherished. A rollicking narrative in the most evocative of settings, this latest novel is a symphony against despair and a rallying cry for the future.


"The transcendent latest from Enger ( Peace Like a River) is at once a dystopian love story, a nautical adventure, and a meditation on loss, kindness, and natural beauty . . . This captivating narrative brims with hope." -- Publishers Weeklystarred review

"The novel's ruined world, marked by book burnings, anti-intellectual sentiment, environmental disruption and casual brutality, will feel entirely too plausible for readers. Yet within its dystopian landscape, Enger's story incorporates a strain of fabulism . . . Like turbulent Lake Superior, I Cheerfully Refuse is filled with polarities that should contradict but somehow, instead, cohere: hopeless moments infused with light and shocking acts of cruelty depicted through beautiful, memorable prose. Although the struggle to survive leaves room for little else, Rainy still finds delight in simple, ordinary things: the post-storm sun or a ripe tomato. It's in these moments of earnest wonder that I Cheerfully Refuse is most compelling, like the brief but glorious clearing of a tempestuous sky." -- BookPage, starred review

"Magnificent . . . Comet-bright and eloquent, I Cheerfully Refuse is a perfect novel that treats dystopian circumstances as transient so long as literacy remains." -- Foreword Reviews, starred review

"There's both a playfulness and a seriousness of purpose to the latest from the Minnesota novelist, a spirit of whimsy that keeps hope flickering even in times of darkest despair." -- Kirkus Reviews

"Enger's prose is beautiful to behold." -- Booklist

"A book that reads like music, both battle hymn and love song for our world. A true epic--heartbreaking, terrifyingly prophetic, but above all, radically hopeful."-- Violet Kupersmith, author of Build Your House Around My Body

"A heart-racing ballad of escape, shot-through with villainy and dignity, humor and music. Like Mark Twain, Enger gives us a full accounting of the human soul, scene by scene, wave by wave." -- Josh Ritter, singer and author of The Great Glorious Goddamn of It All

Event address: 
399 N. Euclid Ave.
Saint Louis, MO 63108
I Cheerfully Refuse By Leif Enger Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802162939
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Grove Press - April 2nd, 2024

Peace Like a River By Leif Enger Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802139252
Availability: On Our Shelves (Note - We update this inventory once per day.)
Published: Atlantic Monthly Press - August 7th, 2002

Virgil Wander By Leif Enger Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802147127
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Grove Press - August 20th, 2019

So Brave, Young, and Handsome By Leif Enger Cover Image
ISBN: 9780802144171
Availability: Ships quickly (1-7 days)
Published: Grove Press - April 8th, 2009


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