Tenth Of December Stories (Hardcover)
|Author: George Saunders|
From the Publisher:
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.?
Praise for George Saunders
?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
?Saunders is a writer of arresting brilliance and originality, with a sure sense of his material and apparently inexhaustible resources of voice. . . . Scary, hilarious, and unforgettable.??Tobias Wolff
?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
?A multifaceted writer, very easy on the surface to pin down but incredibly difficult once you actually read him with any depth.??Joshua Ferris
?Saunders's satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it's also ferocious and funny.??Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
?George Saunders is so funny and inventive he makes you love words and so wide-eyed wistful he talks you into loving people.??Sarah Vowell
George Saunders grew up on Chicago's South Side, studied geophysical engineering at the Colorado School of Mines, and explored for oil in Sumatra before becoming a writer. His early influences were Ayn Rand and Ernest Hemingway, both of which he eventually transcended, developing his own liberal politics and surreal satirical voice. Saunders is best known for his short stories, which have appeared regularly in The New Yorker, Harper's, Slate, GQ, and elsewhere, and he has won the National Magazine Writers Award for Best Fiction on multiple occasions. He has been described as a combination of Samuel Beckett and Charles Schultz, and in his work he frequently makes use of bizarre theme parks and science-fiction riffs on consumer culture. In 2006, Saunders won the MacArthur "genius" grant for "bring[ing] to contemporary American fiction a sense of humor, pathos, and literary style all his own."