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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
From the New York Times bestselling author of Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.Talking candy bars, baby geniuses, disappointed mothers, castrated dogs, interned teenagers, and moral fables--all in this hilarious and heartbreaking collection from an author hailed as the heir to Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon. "The first thing you ought to know is that Saunders is the funniest writer in America... [But] Saunders's laughs are a cover, a diversion, beneath which reside some profoundly serious intentions regarding the morality of how we live and hte power of love and immanent death to transform us into vastly better creatures... I can't think of another writer who would try to do what Saunders is doing, or anything close to it. This is an important book."--The Nation"Saunders is a hilarious, wicked, and pitch-perfect satirist of our times, of course, but for a satirist he has a whole lot of heart."--Esquire
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.
The long-awaited 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 inventedFebruary 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?Praise for Lincoln in the Bardo“A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.”—Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review “A masterpiece.”—Zadie Smith “Ingenious . . . Saunders—well on his way toward becoming a twenty-first-century Twain—crafts an American patchwork of love and loss, giving shape to our foundational sorrows.”—Vogue “Saunders is the most humane American writer working today.”—Harper’s Magazine “The novel beats with a present-day urgency—a nation at war with itself, the unbearable grief of a father who has lost a child, and a howling congregation of ghosts, as divided in death as in life, unwilling to move on.”—Vanity Fair “A brilliant, Buddhist reimagining of an American story of great loss and great love.”—Elle “Wildly imaginative”—Marie Claire “Mesmerizing . . . Dantesque . . . A haunting American ballad.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review) “Exhilarating . . . Ruthless and relentless in its evocation not only of Lincoln and his quandary, but also of the tenuous existential state shared by all of us.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review) “It’s unlike anything you’ve ever read, except that the grotesque humor, pathos, and, ultimately, human kindness at its core mark it as a work that could come only from Saunders.”—The National
From the New York Times bestselling author of Tenth of December, a 2013 National Book Award Finalist for Fiction.Hailed by Thomas Pynchon as "graceful, dark, authentic, and funny," George Saunders now surpasses his New York Times Notable Book, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, with this bestselling collection of stories set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape.One of Entertainment Weekly's Ten Best Books of the Year"Artful and sophisicated... truly unusual. Imagine Lewis's Babbitt thrown into the backseat of a car going cross-country, driven by R. Crumb, Matt Groening, Lynda Barry, Harvey Pekar, or Spike Jonze." -- The New York Times"Saunders is a provocateur, a moralist, a zealot, a lefty, and a funny, funny writer, and the stories in Pastoralia delight. We're very luck to have them." -- Esquire
'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.
From the bestselling author of Tenth of December comes a splendid new edition of his acclaimed collaboration with the illustrator behind The Stinky Cheese Man and James and the Giant Peach! Featuring fifty-two haunting and hilarious images, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a modern fable for people of all ages that touches on the power of kindness, generosity, compassion, and community. In the seaside village of Frip live three families: the Romos, the Ronsens, and a little girl named Capable and her father. The economy of Frip is based solely on goat's milk, and this is a problem because the village is plagued by gappers: bright orange, many-eyed creatures the size of softballs that love to attach themselves to goats. When a gapper gets near a goat, it lets out a high-pitched shriek of joy that puts the goats off giving milk, which means that every few hours the children of Frip have to go outside, brush the gappers off their goats, and toss them into the sea. The gappers have always been everyone's problem, until one day they get a little smarter, and instead of spreading out, they gang up: on Capable's goats. Free at last of the tyranny of the gappers, will her neighbors rally to help her? Or will they turn their backs, forcing Capable to bear the misfortune alone? Featuring fifty-two haunting and hilarious illustrations by Lane Smith and a brilliant story by George Saunders that explores universal themes of community and kindness, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip is a rich and resonant story for those that have all and those that have not. Praise for George Saunders "No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders."--Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times "Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time."--Khaled Hosseini "George Saunders is a complete original. . . . There is no one better, no one more essential to our national sense of self and sanity."--Dave Eggers "Few people cut as hard or deep as Saunders does."--Junot Díaz "Not since Twain has America produced a satirist this funny."--Zadie Smith Praise for The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip "In a perfect world, every child would own a copy of this profound, funny fable. . . . Every adult would own a copy too, and would marvel at how this smart, subversive little book is even deeper and more hilarious than any child could know."--Entertainment Weekly "Saunders's idiosyncratic voice makes an almost perfect accompaniment to children's book illustrator Smith's heightened characterizations and slightly surreal backdrops."--Publishers Weekly "A riveting, funny, and sly new fairy tale."--Miami HeraldFrom the Hardcover edition.
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