A Swim in a Pond in the Rain From the Man Booker Prize-Winning, New York Times-bestselling Author of Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders

$25

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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLERPICKED BY THE SUNDAY TIMES, GUARDIAN, INDEPENDENT, IRISH TIMES, SPECTATOR, TLS, NEW STATESMAN AND EVENING STANDARD AS A BOOK OF 2021‘A masterclass from a warm and engagingly enthusiastic companion’ Guardian Summer Reading Picks 2021‘This book is a delight, and it’s about delight too. How necessary, at our particular moment’ Tessa Hadley________________From the New York Times-bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December comes a literary master class on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about ourselves – and our world today.For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times.In his introduction, Saunders writes, \”We’re going to enter seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world, made for a specific purpose that our time maybe doesn’t fully endorse but that these writers accepted implicitly as the aim of art–namely, to ask the big questions, questions like, How are we supposed to be living down here? What were we put here to accomplish? What should we value? What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it?\” He approaches the stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is a technical craft, but also a way of training oneself to see the world with new openness and curiosity.A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain From the Man Booker Prize-Winning, New York Times-bestselling Author of Lincoln in the Bardo

$25

In stock

ISBN – 9781526624246
Publisher – Bloomsbury Publishing Plc
Format – Paperback
Dimensions – 198mm X 129mm
Categories – Writing Guides and Creativity

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George Saunders
Tenth of December Stories
Tenth of December Stories

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST * NAMED ONE OF& TIME’S& TEN BEST FICTION BOOKS OF THE DECADE *& NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY& People * The New York Times Magazine * NPR * Entertainment Weekly * New York * The Telegraph * BuzzFeed * Kirkus Reviews * BookPage * Shelf Awareness

Includes an extended conversation with David Sedaris

One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story, and Tenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.
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In the taut opener, \”Victory Lap,\” a boy witnesses the attempted abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice: Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from his parents and act? In \”Home,\” a combat-damaged soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers struggling to do the right thing; a teenage girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to lust, to love, to kill–the unforgettable characters that populate the pages of Tenth of December are vividly and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.
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Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work, despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions of what makes us good and what makes us human.
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Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December–through their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings, and their generosity of spirit–not only entertain and delight; they fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art should \”prepare us for tenderness.\”

NEW YORK TIMES& BESTSELLER

\”The best book you’ll read this year.\”The New York Times Magazine
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\”A feat of inventiveness . . . This eclectic collection never ceases to delight with its at times absurd, surreal, and darkly humorous look at very serious subjects. . . . George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time.\”–Khaled Hosseini, author of The Kite Runner
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\”The best short-story writer in English–not ‘one of,’ not ‘arguably,’ but the Best.\”–Mary Karr, Time
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\”A visceral and moving act of storytelling . . . No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised.\”–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
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\”Saunders’s startling, dreamlike stories leave you feeling newly awakened to the world.\”People
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GEORGE SAUNDERS WAS NAMED ONE OF THE 100 MOST INFLUENTIAL PEOPLE IN THE WORLD BY TIME MAGAZINE

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CivilWarLand in Bad Decline Stories and a Novella
CivilWarLand in Bad Decline Stories and a Novella


Since its publication in 1996, George Saunders’s debut collection has grown in esteem from a cherished cult classic to a masterpiece of the form, inspiring an entire generation of writers along the way. In six stories and a novella, Saunders hatches an unforgettable cast of characters, each struggling to survive in an increasingly haywire world. With a new introduction by Joshua Ferris and a new author’s note by Saunders himself, this edition is essential reading for those seeking to discover or revisit a virtuosic, disturbingly prescient voice.

Praise for George Saunders and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

\”It’s no exaggeration to say that short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction.\”The Wall Street Journal

\”Saunders’s satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it’s also ferocious and very funny.\”–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

\”George Saunders is a writer of arresting brilliance and originality, with a sure sense of his material and apparently inexhaustible resources of voice. CivilWarLand in Bad Decline] is scary, hilarious, and unforgettable.\”–Tobias Wolff

\”Saunders makes the all-but-impossible look effortless.\”–Jonathan Franzen

\”Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny.\”–Zadie Smith

\”An astoundingly tuned voice–graceful, dark, authentic, and funny–telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times.\”–Thomas Pynchon

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Lincoln in the Bardo
Lincoln in the Bardo

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER – WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE

The \”devastatingly moving\” (People) first novel from the author of Tenth of December a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented

Named One of Pastes Best Novels of the Decade – Named One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, USA Today, and Maureen Corrigan, NPR – One of Time‘s Ten Best Novels of the Year – A New York Times Notable Book One of O: The Oprah Magazine‘s Best Books of the Year

February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. \”My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,\” the president says at the time. \”God has called him home.\” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body.

From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state–called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo–a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul.

Lincoln in the Bardo
is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?

\”A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.\”–Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review

\”A masterpiece.\”Zadie Smith

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