George Saunders is an American author born in 1958. Saunders has written everything from novellas to essays and children’s books. Fans of the author will also speak fondly of his contributions to the likes of the New Yorker and American Psyche, not to mention GQ.
Order of George Saunders Standalone Novels
|1||The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip||2000|
|3||The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil||2005|
|4||In Persuasion Nation||2006|
|6||Tenth of December||2013|
|7||Lincoln in the Bardo||2017|
Order of George Saunders Short Story Collections
|1||CivilWarLand in Bad Decline||1996|
Order of George Saunders Non-Fiction Books
Born in Amarillo, Texas, Saunders graduated from Oak Forest High School in Illinois. Eventually going on to receive a degree in Geophysical engineering and an M.A in creative writing, Saunders has made effective use of his scientific background as an author, crafting stories that utilize his knowledge and experience.
Before delving into fiction, George Saunders first worked as a technical writer for an environmental engineering company in Rochester, New York. He also filled the position of geophysical engineer for the company.
Oil exploration took him to Sumatra for a time before he settled at Syracuse University where he has taught creative writing for a great many years.
The author’s brand of fiction isn’t for everyone. Saunders loves writing about consumerism and corporate culture. The mass media is also a favorite topic of his. While he has been known to take a satirical approach to his work, Saunders also endeavors to raise moral and ethical questions that force his readers to think.
People who know Saunders will connect him to objectivism, neo-conservatism and even Nyingma Buddhism. The author is always reinventing himself and rethinking his belief systems.
George Saunders Awards
George Saunders won his first notable award in 1994. That was the National Magazine Award and he won it for one of his short stories. He went on to win another notable award called the O. Henry Award in 1997.
He would then go on to win the National Magazine Award a few more times, this along with taking home a few other accolades such as the Macarthur fellowship, the Short story Prize in 2013 and the Guggenheim fellowship to mention but a few.
George Saunders Books into Movies
Back in the 1990s, the film rights to one of George Saunders’ Works, a book called ‘CivialWarLand in Bad Decline’, were bought by Ben Stiller. The project has been in development with Red Hour productions since then, with very little notable movement.
Best George Saunders Books
Saunders is definitely not what you would call a mainstream author, though his work has a decent following, with some of his best books including the following:
Lincoln in the Bardo: Willie Lincoln was buried on the 2nd of February, 1862. Abraham Lincoln chose that night to visit his son’s body, which had been laid to rest in a Georgetown Cemetery. Overcome with grief, Lincoln came under cover of darkness to spend some time with his son.
This story takes place over one night and it explores aspects of death and grief, not to mention good and evil. As beautiful and sad as the book is, it is also laced with humor. Anyone who reads it will admit that Saunders’ approach is a little strange.
The focus of the story is Abraham Lincoln. His 11-year-old dies from typhoid fever and Lincoln visits the crypt to hold his body. Saunders uses the book to paint Lincoln’s grief as vividly as he can.
The narrative is definitely a little confusing. But the confusion fits Saunders’ purpose. Lincoln isn’t in his right mind and the author thrusts readers into his demented existence, so much so that it becomes difficult to separate the illusion from the real world.
In Persuasion Nation: This book is a collection of some of Saunders’ more impressive short stories. They include one about a town that has been overrun by pet-killing hysteria as well as a tale of Eastern European widows adapting to life in the Suburbs of the United States.
Readers who do not know how funny George Saunders can be need to read this book. A story like ‘I Can Speak’ definitely allows his humor to shine. Of course, the book isn’t all fun and games. Some of the stories in this book are very chilling.
But that is what makes it so interesting. The stories keep shifting in tone, and that makes the reading experience refreshing. There are definitely some sections that are a chore to read.
But when you start looking past the words to the hidden allegories, even the tiresome sections begin to take an interesting turn. Though, considering the approach Saunders takes in some stories, it is understandable why this book might not be everyone’s cup of tea.