The Sun Collective: A Novel (Hardcover)

The Sun Collective: A Novel By Charles Baxter Cover Image
Email or call for price.



A timely and unsettling novel about the people drawn to and unmoored by a local activist group more dangerous than it appears—from the winner of the PEN/Malamud Award and “one of our most gifted writers” (Chicago Tribune).

Once a promising actor, Tim Brettigan has gone missing. His father thinks he may have seen him among some homeless people. And though she knows he left on purpose, his mother has been searching for him all over the city. She checks the usual places—churches, storefronts, benches—and stum­bles upon a local community group with lofty goals and an enigmatic leader who will alter all of their lives. Christina, a young woman rapidly becoming addicted to a boutique drug that gives her a feeling of blessedness, is inexplicably drawn to the same collective by a man who’s convinced he may start a revolution. As the lives of these four characters intertwine, a story of guilt, anxiety, and feverish hope unfolds in the city of Minneapolis.
A vision of modern American society and the specters of the consumerism, fanaticism, and fear that haunt it, The Sun Collective captures both the mystery and the violence that punctuate our daily lives.

About the Author

CHARLES BAXTER is the author of the novels The Feast of Love (nominated for the National Book Award), First Light, Saul and Patsy, Shadow Play, The Soul Thief, and The Sun Collective, and the story collections Believers, Gryphon, Harmony of the World, A Relative Stranger, There’s Something I Want You to Do, and Through the Safety Net. His stories have been included in The Best American Short Stories. He has won the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story. Baxter lives in Minneapolis and teaches at the University of Minnesota and in the MFA Program for Writers at Warren Wilson College.

Praise For…


"What a spectacular book this is.  A parable for our ominous times, it has revolution, murder, young love, magic, and marital squabbling in its pages—a novel of ideas in sly and modest Baxter form.  Quite amazing."
—Joan Silber, author of Improvement

"Only the supremely talented Charles Baxter could write a novel that combines blistering social critique with humor, mysticism, passion, and grief. The Sun Collective speaks directly to the unsettled time in which we live.  The characters in this brilliant, beautiful, and deeply insightful book will live on in your imagination for years."
Julie Schumacher, author of Dear Committee Members and The Shakespeare Requirement

“I’ve been reading, with intense and escalating admiration, Charles Baxter’s novels and stories and essays for decades, but nothing quite prepared me for the radical brilliance of The Sun Collective.It’s as if Sherwood Anderson finally made manifest what was always there: his inner Samuel Beckett. That very real despair is here but also transformed into something else, by book’s end. The dialogue about Hitchcock’s MacGuffin is my single favorite thing Baxter has ever written.”
David Shields, author of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto

"A strange and wonderful novel! It begins in comic realism, then becomes dream-like and spooky, mixing the mundane and the fantastic. Imagine an American Murakami, wildly inventive yet full of real emotions and recognizable human beings. This is Charles Baxter's best novel since The Feast of Love, with a subtle political bite that is original and timely."
Christopher Bram, author of Gods and Monsters

"Tense, wry and ultimately touching . . . There is plenty of artful subtext in The Sun Collective, and a burning house or two . . .  But Baxter’s true gift is in describing the tender complexities of a relationship. Here, it’s the wistful, at times contentious, “post-love” of Harold and Alma, whose real problem might not be the times, but time, and their own senescence and mortality.”—The New York Times

"Baxter infuses his tale of class warfare in the social-media era with a hint of the supernatural."—The New Yorker

“Like a skilled magician, Charles Baxter messes with reality just enough to transport the reader . . . Daring . . . There is an eerie sense of urgency to this novel . . . For those who enjoy thrillers, action and mystery with a healthy dose of political tension that incorporates dystopian and supernatural elements, The Sun Collective is a must-read. I highly recommend it.”—Booktrib

“Fans may be surprised at the dark tenor of his latest novel, but Baxter—poet, essayist, and National Book Award finalist for The Feast of Love—masterfully captures the zeitgeist of our country as we navigate multiple crises, some he could never have predicted. This is truly a compelling book for our times.”Library Journal (starred)

"Fiction virtuoso Baxter's artistry and merciless insights are in full, intoxicating flower in this sinuous, dark, and dramatic tale . . . He has brilliantly choreographed a wholly unnerving plunge into alarming aberrations private and public, festering political catastrophe, and woefully warped love."Booklist

"The prose throughout is graceful, the writing perceptive, resonant, and deeply sympathetic . . . An exceptional work."
—Kirkus Reviews (starred)

"Engrossing . . . A thoughtful study of anger, grief, and hope."
Publishers Weekly

“Absorbing . . . beautifully rendered . . . Baxter seems content not knowing all the answers, or maybe believing that motivations are no easier to fully comprehend than instances of everyday magic. His gift is to tune us into the beauty and the strangeness that walks among us, right here in river city.”—Minneapolis Star Tribune
“With his latest novel, The Sun Collective Mr. Baxter continues to chip away at the myth of the Midwest’s innocence . . . Mr. Baxter points toward an inspiration for this duality by naming the Brettigans’ pets after characters from Mikhail Bulgakov’s hallucinatory classic “The Master and Margarita.” But the likeness that occurred to me is with Kazuo Ishiguro’s novels, where the underlying chaos is both concealed and somehow deepened by the inviting, mannerly prose.”—Wall Street Journal

“Artfully subtle . . . An ekphrastic novel disguised as a teleological mystery . . . The Sun Collective challenges the reader as life itself does – at times postponing gratification, at other times brilliantly illuminating what is actual.”On the Seawall

Product Details
ISBN: 9781524748852
ISBN-10: 1524748854
Publisher: Pantheon
Publication Date: November 17th, 2020
Pages: 336
Language: English

How to read more
( Birmingham Museums Trust’s Digital Image Resource shares thousands of images that span decades of Birminghams vibrant past)

How To Read More

If you love reading, but for some reason you read less and less, know that everything is fine. It happens.
Our lives today have so many things that distract us - how can we not put books away when all these movies, TV shows, YouTube videos, social networks and endless surfing in online stores are around ...
Yes, it's really hard to resist, but you certainly can!

In this article, we want to share with you some tips to read more often and more successfully.
These are some notes and some practices that we have collected for our SUNDOG BOOKS readers club.
And maybe it will bring more books into your life!

Why do we want/need to read more?

To start reading more, you have to understand why you need it.
And you will be surprised, but your goals can be quite varied:

- for work
If you read a lot on duty, then you definitely need to speed up the process. The logic here is simple: read faster → work faster → more time for books for yourself.

- for education
you need this for your educational career or sometimes you just want to read to learn. And, with all the new alternative ways to gain knowledge (podcasts, online courses and videos), the book still does an excellent job of this task too.

- for self-development
all exercises for increasing speed, one way or another, improve cognition and memory.

- for fun
because good books always = fun!

Book lovers have an additional special goal for reading more often. If you love literature, you will understand what we mean: you want to catch everything - to follow modern literature, and not forget about the classics, look into non-fiction and children's publications. And there’s so much you want to reread! The goals are ambitious, but attainable if you read a lot.


And so - How to read more:
We will tell you about the methods that we use ourselves. Perhaps some will suit you as well.


15 minutes a day

You've probably already heard this rule: if you want to start a healthy habit, devote 15 minutes a day to it. Once upon a time, we all read irregularly, in jumps and starts. Sometimes we cannot open a book we have begun weeks ago. Therefore, you should decide to create a rule: devote at least 15 minutes a day to reading. Try reading before bed, or maybe during lunchtime, or even when you are having your morning coffee.

You will see progress immediately. You will notice that almost always your 15 minutes will grow into half an hour or more. But the most remarkable thing is that in three weeks your hands themselves will be looking for a book.


50 First Pages
This method advises - If the book hasn't hooked you from the first 50 pages, put it aside! Life is too short to read uninteresting books.

It is necessary to change the approach to books. At first it will be hard for you to stop and put the book down. Even if we put the book away, it will seem to reproach us from the shelf, mocking us as quitters. But in the end we should come to one simple thought: if it doesn’t hook your attention, you should not force yourself to read it.

***Fifty pages is not a bad test. Not the most objective, but definitely effective. It helps to determine whether it interests you or not, and whether to spend time on things that do not excite.


Reader's Diary

This should be used to improve the quality of reading - to make it more conscious. For starters, it can be a simple notebook with headings:

  • Author
  • Year of publication
  • Main characters
  • Scene
  • Plot
  • Theme
  • Quotes

And, yes, a reader's diary is not a thing about quantity, but about quality. But, it can also motivate. When you open your diary and start looking at quotes (especially quotes), you immediately really want to read.


Maybe a Book Bet?
Several people can participate. Members of the betting group can come from friends, family, and also your colleagues. And of course you can set your own rules for participation, but we'll give you a simple example:

Everyone in the group should read and review a book over the course of a month with weekly updates. Anyone who does not finish a review buys the book for all other participants for the next month.


Speed Reading

Another effective way to increase the amount you read is speed reading. The logic here is simple - the faster you read, the more books you can enjoy.

*There are many online courses on speed reading, and you can also study on your own using instructional books. But, it is worth noting that this is a serious learning process that will require some effort on your part.



Reading every day is quite attainable, the main thing is to try to make it a habit.
Sometimes, instead of heading for Facebook, try opening a book and soon you won’t even remember why you needed to wander around social media.
And also - don't forget about audiobooks. They are a cool way to take the load off your eyes sometimes and just immerse yourself in the story. Some books are really strong in voice acting.


Indie Bestsellers

This feature require that you enable JavaScript in your browser.

Indie Next List

This feature require that you enable JavaScript in your browser.
Zircon - This is a contributing Drupal Theme
Design by WeebPal.