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The breakout book from "the funniest writer in America"--not to mention an official "Genius"--his first nonfiction collection ever. George Saunders's first foray into nonfiction is comprised of essays on literature, travel, and politics. At the core of this unique collection are Saunders's travel essays based on his trips to seek out the mysteries of the "Buddha Boy" of Nepal; to attempt to indulge in the extravagant pleasures of Dubai; and to join the exploits of the minutemen at the Mexican border. Saunders expertly navigates the works of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Esther Forbes, and leads the reader across the rocky political landscape of modern America. Emblazoned with his trademark wit and singular vision, Saunders's endeavor into the art of the essay is testament to his exceptional range and ability as a writer and thinker. From the author of Tenth of December. . . .
From the New York Times bestselling author of Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. In a profoundly strange country called Inner Horner, large enough for only one resident at a time, citizens waiting to enter the country fall under the rule of the power-hungry and tyrannical Phil, setting off a chain of injustice and mass hysteria. An Animal Farm for the 21st century, this is an incendiary political satire of unprecedented imagination, spiky humor, and cautionary appreciation for the hysteric in everyone. Over six years in the writing, and brilliantly and beautifully packaged, this novella is Saunders' first stand-alone, book-length work--and his first book for adults in five years.
One of the most influential works of modern American fiction is available for the first time as an eBook, featuring exclusive content not found in the print editions, including an additional short story and original commentary from George Saunders and Joshua Ferris. Since its publication in 1996, George Saunders's debut collection has grown in estimation from a cherished cult classic to a masterpiece of the form and inspired an entire generation of writers. In six stories ("CivilWarLand in Bad Decline," "Isabelle," "The Wavemaker Falters," "The 400-Pound CEO," "Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz," "Downtrodden Mary's Failed Campaign of Terror") and a novella ("Bounty"), Saunders introduces readers to an unforgettable cast of characters struggling to survive in an increasingly haywire world. This eBook edition is the perfect occasion to discover or revisit a virtuosic, uniquely American voice. Now available are a bonus short story, "A Lack of Order in the Floating Object Room," originally published in 1986 but no longer in print; a new Afterword by George Saunders discussing his life and career at the time he wrote these stories; a new Introduction by National Book Award finalist and PEN/Hemingway Award winner Joshua Ferris; and an excerpt from Saunders's upcoming collection, Tenth of December. Praise for George Saunders and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline "There is no author I recommend to people more often--for ten years I've urged George Saunders onto everyone and everyone. You want funny? Saunders is your man. You want emotional heft? Saunders again. You want stories that are actually about something--stories that again and again get to the meat of matters of life and death and justice and country? Saunders. There is no one better, no one more essential to our national sense of self and sanity."--Dave Eggers "The debut of an exciting new voice in fiction . . . Saunders's satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it's also ferocious and very funny."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny."--Zadie Smith "George Saunders makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him."--Jonathan Franzen "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 "In CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, George Saunders is improvising around a single scary note. Few writers have sounded it with such clarity, boldness, and wit."--The Philadelphia Inquirer "Subversive, hilarious, and emotionally piercing. Few writers can encompass that range of adjectives, but Saunders is a true original--restlessly inventive, yet deeply humane."--Jennifer Egan "This book is a rare event: a brilliant new satirist bursting out of the gate in full stride, wildly funny, pure, generous--all that a great humorist should be."--Garrison Keillor "[Saunders has] shades of both Denis Johnson and Raymond Chandler. . . . By turns he's ferocious, witty, and uproarious, but what makes his fiction memorable is the gravitas of its dark portraiture of America."--The Boston Globe
Three months after George Saunders gave a convocation address at Syracuse University, a transcript of that speech was posted on the website of The New York Times, where its simple, uplifting message struck a deep chord. Within days, it had been shared more than one million times. Why? Because Saunders's words tap into a desire in all of us to lead kinder, more fulfilling lives. Powerful, funny, and wise, Congratulations, by the way is an inspiring message from one of today's most influential and original writers.From the Hardcover edition.
From the author of the instant New York Times bestseller Tenth of December comes a darkly comic short story, a fable about the all too real impact that we humans have on the environment--now available for the first time as an eBook. Fox 8 has always been known as the daydreamer in his pack, the one his fellow foxes regarded with a knowing snort and a roll of the eyes. That is, until Fox 8 develops a unique skill: He teaches himself to speak "Yuman" by hiding in the bushes outside a house and listening to children's bedtime stories. The power of language fuels his abundant curiosity about people--even after "danjur" arrives in the form of a new shopping mall that cuts off his food supply, sending Fox 8 on a harrowing quest to help save his pack. Told with his distinctive blend of humor and pathos, Fox 8 showcases the extraordinary imaginative talents of George Saunders, whom the New York Times called "the writer for our time." Praise for George Saunders and Tenth of December "The best book you'll read this year . . . more moving and emotionally accessible than anything that has come before."--The New York Times Magazine "Saunders is a complete original, unlike anyone else."--Dave Eggers "Affecting [and] wincingly funny . . . It's no exaggeration to say that the short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction."--The Wall Street Journal "Subversive, hilarious, and emotionally piercing."--Jennifer Egan "Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny."--Zadie Smith "George Saunders makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him."--Jonathan Franzen "Tenth of December isn't just [Saunders's] most unexpected work yet; it's also his best . . . as weird, scary, and devastating as America itself."--NPR "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 "The best short-story writer in English alive." --Mary Karr
George Saunders has earned enthusiastic acclaim and a devoted cult-following with his first two story collections and the recent novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil. With his new book, In Persuasion Nation, Saunders ups the ante in every way, and is poised to break out to a wide new audience. The stories In Persuasion Nation are easily his best work yet. The Red Bow,about a town consumed by pet-killing hysteria, won a 2004 National Magazine Award and Bohemians, the story of two supposed Eastern European widows trying to fit in in suburban USA, is included in The Best American Short Stories 2005. His new book includes both unpublished work, and stories that first appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and Esquire. The stories in this volume work together as a whole whose impact far exceeds the simple sum of its parts. Fans of Saunders know and love him for his sharp and hilarious satirical eye. But In Persuasion Nation also includes more personal and poignant pieces that reveal a new kind of emotional conviction in Saunders's writing. Saunders's work in the last six years has come to be recognized as one of the strongest-and most consoling-cries in the wilderness of the millennium's political and cultural malaise. In Persuasion Nation's sophistication and populism should establish Saunders once and for all as this generation's literary voice of wisdom and humor in a time when we need it most.
'Saunders is an astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic and funny - telling just the kind of stories we need to get us through these times' Thomas Pynchon In PASTORALIA elements of contemporary life are twisted, merged and amplified into a slightly skewed version of modern America. A couple live and work in a caveman theme-park, where speaking is an instantly punishable offence. A born loser attends a self-help seminar where he is encouraged to rid himself of all the people who are 'crapping in your oatmeal'. And a male exotic dancer and his family are terrorised by their decomposing aunt who visits them with a solemn message from beyond the grave. With an uncanny combination of deadpan naturalism and uproarious humour, George Saunders creates a world that is both indelibly original and yet hauntingly familiar . . .
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. 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. 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. 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."Advance praise for Tenth of December "Tenth of December shows George Saunders at his most subversive, hilarious, and emotionally piercing. Few writers can encompass that range of adjectives, but Saunders is a true original--restlessly inventive, yet deeply humane."--Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad "George Saunders is a complete original, unlike anyone else, thank god--and yet still he manages to be the rightful heir to three other complete American originals--Barthelme (the lyricism, the playfulness), Vonnegut (the outrage, the wit, the scope), and Twain (the common sense, the exasperation). There is no author I recommend to people more often--for ten years I've urged George Saunders onto everyone and everyone. You want funny? Saunders is your man. You want emotional heft? Saunders again. You want stories that are actually about something--stories that again and again get to the meat of matters of life and death and justice and country? Saunders. There is no one better, no one more essential to our national sense of self and sanity."--Dave Eggers, author of A Hologram for the KingPraise for George Saunders "Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny."--Zadie Smith "George Saunders makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him."--Jonathan Franzen "An astoundingly tuned voice--graceful, dark, authentic, and funny--telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times."--Thomas PynchonFrom the Hardcover edition.
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