Winner of the National Book Award
Pulitzer Prize Finalist
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Boston Globe Best Book of the Year
A Chicago Tribune Best Book of the Year
A Kirkus Reviews
Best Fiction Book of the Year
Longlisted for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award
Set against the Platte River's massive spring migrations—one of the greatest spectacles in nature—The Echo Maker is a mystery that explores the improvised human self and the even more precarious brain that splits us from and joins us to the rest of creation.
On a winter night on a remote Nebraska road, twenty-seven-year-old Mark Schluter flips his truck in a near-fatal accident. His older sister Karin, his only near kin, returns reluctantly to their hometown to nurse Mark back from a traumatic head injury. But when he emerges from a protracted coma, Mark believes that this woman—who looks, acts, and sounds just like his sister—is really an identical impostor. Shattered by her brother’s refusal to recognize her, Karin contacts the cognitive neurologist Gerald Weber, famous for his case histories describing the infinitely bizarre worlds of brain disorder. Weber recognizes Mark as a rare case of Capgras Syndrome—the delusion that people in one's life are doubles or imposters—and eagerly investigates.
What he discovers in Mark slowly undermines even his own sense of being. Meanwhile, Mark, armed only with a note let by an anonymous witness, attempts to learn what happened the night of his inexplicable accident. The truth of that evening will change the lives of all three beyond recognition.