Lincoln in the Bardo

Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders

Short Stories / Fiction

In his long-awaited first novel, American master George Saunders delivers his most original, transcendent, and moving work yet. Unfolding in a graveyard over the course of a single night, narrated by a dazzling chorus of voices, Lincoln in the Bardo is a literary experience unlike any other—for no one but Saunders could conceive it. February 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 returned to the crypt several times alone 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 thrilling, 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—living and dead, historical and invented—to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end?
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Tenth of December: Stories

Tenth of December: Stories

George Saunders

Short Stories / Fiction

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 King* From the Hardcover edition.
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The Braindead Megaphone

The Braindead Megaphone

George Saunders

Short Stories / Fiction

The breakout book from "the funniest writer in America"—not to mention an official Genius—a trade paperback original and his first nonfiction collection ever. George Saunders's first foray into nonfiction is composed 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.
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Fox 8

Fox 8

George Saunders

Short Stories / Fiction

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 “danjer” 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
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Pastoralia

Pastoralia

George Saunders

Short Stories / Fiction

With this new collection, George Saunders takes us even further into the shocking, uproarious and oddly familiar landscape of his imagination. The stories in Pastoralia are set in a slightly skewed version of America, where elements of contemporary life have been merged, twisted, and amplified, casting their absurdity-and our humanity-in a startling new light. Whether he writes a gothic morality tale in which a male exotic dancer is haunted by his maiden aunt from beyond the grave, or about a self-help guru who tells his followers his mission is to discover who's been "crapping in your oatmeal," Saunders's stories are both indelibly strange and vividly real.
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CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

George Saunders

Short Stories / Fiction

One of the most influential works of modern American fiction is available for the first time as an eBook, featuring a new Author’s Note, as well as an Introduction by 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. With original commentary from Joshua Ferris and Saunders himself, this eBook edition is the perfect occasion to discover or revisit a virtuosic, uniquely American voice. BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from George Saunders's 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*
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In Persuasion Nation

In Persuasion Nation

George Saunders

Short Stories / Fiction

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.
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The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

George Saunders

Short Stories / Fiction

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 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 Herald
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Home

Home

George Saunders

Short Stories / Fiction

Each story in this series offers a poignant glimpse of family life – the ties we cling to; the ties we try to sever; and the ties that make us who we are. Told from a myriad of perspectives, from a dazzling array of some of the finest short story writers of our generation (including Jhumpa Lahiri, George Saunders, Jon McGregor and Elizabeth Gilbert), Family Snapshots gives us a fresh, empathetic and moving insight into the meaning of family.
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