Some story collections drop with fireworks and great fanfare, while others make their entrance, it could be said, on tender feet. The latter is the case with the works of Edith Pearlman, who released her fifth story collection, Honeydew, on Tuesday....more
Posts Tagged: george saunders
After hailing Kurt Vonnegut as the “grandfather” on her “literary family tree,” Kathleen Founds describes the experience of reading his short story, “Welcome to the Monkey House,” at BuzzFeed Books. The experience, she writes, was “akin to opening a box in my literary grandfather’s attic and finding something utterly derailing”:
If Vonnegut could see through myths about war, why couldn’t he transcend myths about sexual violence?
There’s still time to get the December selections if you join either (or both!) the Rumpus Book and Poetry Book Clubs. What makes our book clubs special? Well, our first readers have a terrific track record of selecting truly amazing books, and members get books before anyone else does because we only select books that haven’t been released yet....more
Story|Houston published a beautiful story this week in their Fall 2014 issue, all of which centers around the theme of family, functional or otherwise. “Termites” tells the story of Tamara, aka Tam or Tam-Tam, a youngish woman living in and trying to take care of/sell her family’s childhood home on Staten Island....more
For T Magazine, seven authors reflect on the experience of revisiting and annotating their early works for an upcoming PEN American Center fundraiser. George Saunders thinks his style in CivilWarLand in Bad Decline was “manic and abrupt.” Jennifer Egan still regrets that she failed to include an Epic poetry chapter in A Visit From the Goon Squad....more
Every good story is rooted in conflict, and most of us learned the different types of conflict in our high school literature classes like clockwork, year in and year out: man v. man, man v. self, man v. society, man v....more
There aren’t many things that make sense, nakedly, without justification or explanation or exposition. But George Saunders reading Barry Hannah and Grace Paley does. For the New Yorker‘s Page Turner, he leafs through Paley’s “Love,” Hannah’s “The Wretched Seventies,” and chats about the reverberations of both....more
Do aliens, once in love, ever break up? You’d have to hope so. It would be kind of creepy, all these aliens living monogamously to like age 9,000, making love in that slow, telepathic way they have. And afterward, they do that “brain meld” thing and put their “teeth” back in.
Over at the New Yorker, read an excerpt from Mike Sacks’s upcoming Poking a Dead Frog: Conversations with Today’s Top Comedy Writers. The selection features an interview with George Saunders, in which the writer talks about his upbringing, getting inspiration for characters from working in a restaurant, Mark Twain, comedy, and humor versus satire....more
Chipotle is getting into the publishing business. Vanity Fair reports that the burrito chain’s cups and bags will feature very short stories from authors like Jonathan Safran Foer, Toni Morrison, George Saunders, and others. Shortly after the announcement, Slate published Cormac McCarthy’s “rejected” story....more
“What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness: those moments when another human being was there in front of me, suffering, and I responded sensibly. Reservedly. Mildly,” George Saunders said in his 2013 commencement address at Syracuse....more
Monday 1/13: New York City’s Boog City Goes West 2014 featuring readings from Amy Berkowitz, Brandon Brown, Donna de la Perrière, Ivy Johnson, David Kirschenbaum, Joseph Lease, and Jill Stengel. Free, 6 p.m. at Alley Cat Gallery.
Tuesday 1/14: The Booksmith hosts a launch party for Motherland, the latest novel from Maria Hummel....more
There is a great interview over at BuzzFeed Books with George Saunders in which he discusses Arthur Miller’s Timebends and what he believes the purpose of art is.
I also found myself really excited by Miller’s basic assumptions about art: It’s important, it is supposed to change us, it’s not supposed to be trivial or merely clever, it’s one human being trying to urgently communicate with another.
n+1 celebrates the launch of Issue Eighteen: Good News. Recess Activities, 8 p.m., $10 or free for subscribers....more
When I started writing a novel I thought, I’m not ready, because I’ve only written short stories and nobody wants them, but I also thought, For Christ’s sake, what am I going to do? I can’t keep on like this.
Here is the complete list of finalists for the National Book Award in the fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and young adult categories.
The finalists include Rumpus interviewee Rachel Kushner and Rumpus book club participant George Saunders—plus one of the judges in the young adult category is our Letters for Kids editor Cecil Castellucci!...more
If you missed The New Yorker Festival, you can click here to see Rumpus interviewees Karen Russell and Junot Díaz talk to New Yorker’s Willing Davidson about children characters and fantasy genre, as well as Rumpus Book Club interviewee George Saunders discussing his life and career with New Yorker’s Deborah Treisman....more
In 2005, David Foster Wallace delivered his famous commencement speech to Kenyon’s graduating class, which was notorious for invoking the story about two young fish unable to recognize they are swimming in water.
The speech was met with such widespread admiration and awe that it was published as This Is Water: Some Thoughts, Delivered on a Significant Occasion, about Living a Compassionate Life by Little, Brown & Company in 2009....more
Check out George Saunders’s graduation speech to the students of Syracuse University, where he is a professor.
It’s rife with exhortations to kindness and references to monkey-borne illnesses. You know, the usual.
So here’s something I know to be true, although it’s a little corny, and I don’t quite know what to do with it: What I regret most in my life are failures of kindness. Those moments when another human being was there, in front of me, suffering, and I responded…sensibly.
The Rumpus Book Club chats with George Saunders about Tenth of December, sudden celebrity, why escalation matters if you’re a writer, and how to stick with a story...more
The Book Clubs are rocking right now with this month’s selections, George Saunders’s Tenth of December and Camille Guthrie’s Articulated Lair, but there’s some great stuff on the horizon....more
Let’s say that some months we wind up with an extra copy or two of our Book Club or Poetry Book Club selections. And let’s also say that, after a while, those extra copies start to take up a little space....more
Receipts, letters, diaries, grocery lists, photographs, report cards, online dating profiles – all these documents are written evidence of our existence. For most of us, they will be the only written evidence of our existence. Creating fraudulent documents as a means of evoking a fictional character is an old technique, from Jonathan Swift’s letters written in the persona of Isaac Bickerstaff, Esq....more