“There’s a vast underground network for goodness at work in the world — a web of people who’ve put reading at the center of their lives because they know from experience that reading makes them more expansive, generous people and makes their lives more interesting.”
George Saunders, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain
Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo, George Saunders offers iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol to present a literary master class on what makes great stories and how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.
For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it is more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. Saunders reminds us that writing is a way to see the world with new openness and curiosity.
George Saunders is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Man Booker Prize; Congratulations, by the way; Tenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award; The Braindead Megaphone; and the critically acclaimed short story collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.
LitHub, January 14, 2021
The Post and Courier, April 4, 2021
Elle, January 21, 2021
“One of the most accurate and beautiful depictions of what it is like to be inside the mind of a writer that I’ve ever read.”