George Saunders

“Pastoralia” as Necropastoral


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December 19th, 2011 / 6:19 pm

The Braindead Megaphone Don’t Have To Be Braindead But Maybe It Helps To Be A Litlidunno

Chris Johanson "Untitled (I am so glad…)" (2006) Acrylic on paper

“I was working with stuffed animals and I passed this shop that was a secondhand office supply place, and I saw this magnificent goat there, almost invisible with the dust.” — Robert Rauschenberg


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December 6th, 2010 / 6:12 pm

You Are Not the Only One Writing About Mondavian Zookpeepers

This is one of about 30 “Random” posts on the front page, but here goes nothing: Chloe Cooper Jones conducts a pretty spectacular dialogue with co-stars George Saunders and Deb Olin Unferth over at The Faster Times. Inspiring considerations of the contemporary MFA program abound. George Saunders gives us the only googlable instance of “kicking entities,” which we ought to deem an idiom among idioms, even if I’m not sure what it means. Really, the hope here gets me giddy, and it’s something for sure of which this “literary culture” could use a more healthy supply. Deb Olin Unferth puts it beautifully:

You can look at any space, at any group of people, and see dreariness, self-absorption, the long trod to death. Or you can look at the same space and people and see longing, hope, heroism, and disappointment that will break your heart. If you squint just right at an MFA program, you see both. You see the lifeless side—maybe the student who isn’t finding her voice or the teacher who is just “going through the motions”—and the side that shines and beats.

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November 15th, 2010 / 11:06 pm

A list of remembrances of writers who passed in the 00s, by other writers, including one of David Foster Wallace by George Saunders, plus JG Ballard, Susan Sontag, Grace Paley, W.G. Sebald, many others, at the Guardian.

George Saunders and his enormous, throbbing heart: a homily

Is George Saunders the most radical fiction writer writing in the mainstream today? Or to put it a possibly better way, is Saunders the most mainstream of today’s radical fiction writers? I don’t mean “radical” in terms of style or form–though Saunders has certainly done his share of innovating–but I invoke the term rather in its classic political connotation. I’ve read most of Saunders’s books, and worked with him when I edited Come Back, Donald Barthelme, but something clicked for me yesterday when I read “Al Roosten,” his new story in the current issue of The New Yorker,  and after the jump I’m going to talk about it for about 3000 words, and at some point there will be some spoilers, and it’s not really a “spoiler alert” kind of story, but anyway maybe you want to read the story before you read this.


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January 31st, 2009 / 8:02 pm