Great Expectations

A Novel

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Pub Date 12 Mar 2024 | Archive Date 30 Jun 2024

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Description

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

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


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.
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...

Advance Praise

"This is a novel of so many things––love and pride and pity and politics and sex and God and fatherhood––but, ultimately, it is about the human ambition to make sense of the troubled waters of our times. Brilliantly written, piercingly smart, quietly subversive, Great Expectations will be one of the talked-about novels of the year. I couldn't help thinking that there was a touch of Fitzgerald in Cunningham's words, borne back not just ceaselessly, but also gracefully, into the too-recent past."

––Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin, winner of the National Book Award

“Vinson Cunningham's Great Expectations is epic, intimate, and brimming with brilliance. Cunningham's prose both soothes and scalds, crafting a bildungsroman, a tragicomedy, and the panorama of an entire nation, juggling humor and sensitivity and honesty with ease. Great Expectations is a phenomenal, transfixing work; 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

"The aptly-titled Great Expectations announces Vinson Cunningham as a novelist of singular style, wit and ambition. Focused on one young man’s experience working on a historic presidential campaign, the novel is both a coming-of-age story for its narrator and—just as powerfully—a coming-of-age tale for the nation writ large. Cunningham has an uncanny ability to access the thoughts undergirding our thoughts, and his narrator is one that readers will wish they could keep by their sides to make sense of the world after the book’s final pages. 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


"This is a novel of so many things––love and pride and pity and politics and sex and God and fatherhood––but, ultimately, it is about the human ambition to make sense of the troubled waters of our...


Available Editions

EDITION Other Format
ISBN 9780593448236
PRICE $28.00 (USD)
PAGES 272

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