Leif Enger was born in 1961 in Sauk Centre, Minnesota, to Don and Wilma Enger, a band leader and a teacher, respectively, at Osakis High School. A graduate of Moorhead State University, Enger worked as a reporter and producer for the Minnesota Public Radio program Mainstreet Radio for sixteen years before the success of Peace Like a River. Writing with his brother Lin under the pen name L. L. Enger, Enger co-wrote five mystery novels about a retired baseball player named Gun Pedersen for Pocket and Simon & Schuster in the early 1990s.
Enger met his wife Robin Reed when they were both students at Moorhead State University, he studying English and she studying education. They live on a 56-acre tract that includes farmland and forest near Aitkin, Minnesota, and have two sons. Peace Like a River was Enger's debut novel. His second novel, So Brave, Young and Handsome: A Novel, was published by Grove/Atlantic in 2008. Set in early twentieth-century America, it tells the story of an aging train robber who finds himself shadowed by the law after years of obscurity.
Peace Like A River
Leif Enger's best-selling debut is an epic of generosity and heart that reminds us of the restorative power of great literature. This story of a father raising his three children in 1960's Minnesota is at once a heroic quest, a tragedy, a love story and a haunting meditation on the possibility of magic in everyday life. Readers will recognize the landscape of North Dakota in the Land family's search for their prodigal son and brother.
Enger brings us eleven-year-old Reuben Land, an asthmatic boy who has reason to believe in miracles. The Land family enjoy an idyllic existence until the oldest son, Davy, is arrested for a double manslaughter. But when Davy breaks out of jail and flees into the Dakota badlands, Reuben finds himself along with his sister and father on a cross-country search for his outlaw older brother. Their epic journey leads them to a place from which there is no return, a place that will test them almost beyond endurance and stretch the ties that bind them to their absolute limit. Their journey unfolds like a revelation, and its conclusion shows how family, love, and faith can stand up to the most terrifying of enemies, the most tragic of fates.