Swinging from heartbreaking and tragic, to humorous and lively, Lincoln in the Bardo is a unique, bizarre and captivating story. It centers around the death of Abraham Lincoln’s son Willie, and both Lincoln and Willie’s inability to move past Willie’s sudden death. This causes both to become trapped in a type of limbo; Lincoln’s in which he continually visits Willie’s crypt to hold his son’s body while grieving, and Willie, in the bardo (a Tibetan word for the "transitional" state between lives). An entire cast of characters accompanies Willie in the bardo, including many other spirits who have never been able to accept their death. The juxtaposition of historical fiction with the spirit world (that is at times more lively than the world of the living) makes this novel one that is unforgettable.
In The Ministry of Utmost Happiness Arundhati Roy braids together the stories of many people (mostly in India and Kashmir) into a lyrical novel filled with horror and love and the intimate struggles of facing each day as it comes.