Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

by

George Saunders

Teachers and parents! Struggling with distance learning? Our Teacher Edition on Lincoln in the Bardo can help.
Hans Vollman’s second wife. Significantly younger than Vollman, Anna is incredibly nervous on their wedding night—so nervous, in fact, that Vollman tells her they don’t need to make love. Eventually, though, Anna comes to love Vollman and suggests that they finally consummate their marriage. Unfortunately, Vollman dies the very next day. Although Vollman insists during his time in the Bardo that Anna is waiting for him to “recover,” Bevins reminds his friend at the end of the novel that Anna visited the cemetery several years ago and told Vollman’s grave that she has married another man, whom she loves deeply. Once Vollman finally admits that he remembers this, he finds himself suddenly ready to move on from the Bardo.

Anna Quotes in Lincoln in the Bardo

The Lincoln in the Bardo quotes below are all either spoken by Anna or refer to Anna . For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Unity Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Lincoln in the Bardo published in 2018.
Chapter 1 Quotes

And that is how we lived. We became friends. Dear friends. That was all. And yet that was so much. We laughed together, made decisions about the household […]. To see her brighten when I came in, find her leaning into me as we discussed some household matter, improved my lot in many ways I cannot adequately explain. I had been happy, happy enough, but now I often found myself uttering a spontaneous prayer that went, simply: She is here, still here. It was as if a rushing river had routed itself through my house, which was pervaded now by a freshwater scent and the awareness of something lavish, natural, and breathtaking always moving nearby.

Related Characters: Hans Vollman (speaker), Anna
Page Number: 3
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Lincoln in the Bardo LitChart as a printable PDF.
Lincoln in the Bardo PDF

Anna Character Timeline in Lincoln in the Bardo

The timeline below shows where the character Anna appears in Lincoln in the Bardo. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 1
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Vice and Virtue Theme Icon
Empathy and Equality Theme Icon
Continuing the story of his wedding night, Hans Vollman explains that he told Anna—his bride—that she should pretend to everyone that they consummated their marriage, though in truth they... (full context)
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
After Anna left her note, Vollman explains, the couple spent a joyful night kissing and cuddling in... (full context)
Unity Theme Icon
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
...marriage-bed?” After waxing poetic about what it would be like to finally have sex with Anna, he says that he and his wife will have to wait until his “recovery” is... (full context)
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
...sick-box and create “little duststorms.” He even broke a vase sitting on his porch, though Anna and the physician didn’t notice, as they were too busy talking about his “injury.” As... (full context)
Chapter 54-55
Unity Theme Icon
Empathy and Equality Theme Icon
...world” and desires “the man-smell and the strong hold of a man,” while Bevins sees “Anna’s face” and comprehends his friend’s “reluctance to leave her behind.” Greatly renewed by this experience,... (full context)
Chapter 102
Unity Theme Icon
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Empathy and Equality Theme Icon
Vollman denies Bevins’s words, but his friend pushes on, recounting Anna’s visit to the cemetery. She came, Bevins says, and thanked Vollman for putting her “on... (full context)
Chapter 103
Transition and Impermanence Theme Icon
Empathy and Equality Theme Icon
...his future forms: “A beaming fellow in a disordered bed, the morning after he and Anna would have consummated their marriage”; “A father of twin girls”; “A retired printer with bad... (full context)