In September, Oprah chose it for her book club. By December, it had made it onto most "best of 2008" lists. "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" is a huge word-of-mouth hit that has turned first-time novelist David Wroblewski into one of those unlikely writers who hits a home run his first time up at bat.
The book's success was such that no one should be surprised to hear that the author is now planning a prequel, part of a projected trilogy.
"The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" has been called the "Hamlet" of northern Wisconsin. It tells the story of a mute boy growing up in a family that breeds and trains dogs professionally. In a statement Wroblewski's publisher, Ecco, said that the new book, which has not yet been titled, would trace the origins of Edgar Sawtelle’s father and uncle.
Wroblewski said: "My fascination with the Sawtelles and the Sawtelle dogs is far from over. This new novel is a chance to look more deeply into their story, and a tremendously exciting project to me."
Wroblewski, a computer software programmer living in Colorado, has said that the first book took him about 10 years to write.
The Monitor's reviewer called "The Story of Edgar Sawtelle" "the most hauntingly impressive debut I’ve read all year." She also called it "a tender coming-of-age story ... "a literary thriller with strong echoes of Shakespeare and 'The Jungle Book.' ”