In these times, strange times that they are, seeing someone do something that’s not patently selfish and fucked-up is like a breath of fresh air, good clean fresh air, not that any one of us would know good clean fresh air if a vial of it swooped down and bit us on the ass!
George Saunders has a way with words that makes his short stories both horrific and hilarious. A writer with a message, Saunders writes of modern-day culture – corporate greed, authority, inequality, socio-economic class, narcissism, hate, racism, helicopter parenting, plastic surgery, obesity, physical perfection – and magnifies them a thousand times to make a point: we live in one messed-up world. Read more
George Saunders is a master short story-teller whose talent is skillfully displayed in The Tenth of December, a collection of ten short stories that was recently published (2013). A writer who seems to be writing about the mundane aspects of life – work, buying a puppy, planning a birthday party, or picking the kids up from school – Saunders is, in fact writing about the big picture: parenting, corporate greed and power, entitlement, human rights, mental illness, and despair. With George Saunders, there is always a message that says something about our culture and what we value and that’s what makes his short stories so thought-provoking, hilarious, and often heart-breaking. Read more
Pastoralia is a collection of six short stories by George Saunders, a professor at Syracuse University who teaches creative writing in the MFA program, and a writer of essays, short stories, novellas (a narrative that is longer than a short story but shorter than a novel) and children’s books. Published in 2000, Pastoralia is Saunders’ second short story collection (the first being CivilWarLand in Bad Decline published in 1996) and my first introduction to his work. After reading Pastoralia, I was blown away and had several thoughts: Read more