Photo of George Saunders

Ten Evenings

George Saunders

“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 wayTenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award; The Braindead Megaphone; and the critically acclaimed short story collections CivilWarLand in Bad DeclinePastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

“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.”

Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

Sponsored by University of Pittsburgh Press

With additional support from Chatham University and Hunter Associates through the generosity of the Clark Hunter Foundation

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain by George Saunders book cover


Monday, March 21, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. ET

Important Program Change

George Saunders will present his lecture remotely, broadcast via live video projection to our in-person audience at Carnegie Music Hall. He will answer pre-submitted audience questions in real time.
300 hardcover copies of A Swim in a Pond in the Rain (valued at $28) will be available, first-come-first-served, to those with reserved seat tickets (first floor and first balcony). Books will be available to pick up at the White Whale Bookstore sales table in the lobby of the Carnegie Music Hall on Monday, March 21st, immediately before and after the event.


At this time, all in-person attendees must be fully vaccinated or present a recent negative COVID-19 test. Masks must be worn by everyone for the duration of their visit. You will need to bring proof of vaccination or negative COVID-19 test, photo ID, and mask. Find detailed entry requirements at


Tickets to attend in person start at $15
Virtual passes are $15
$10 student tickets are available with promo code LS22STUDENT
The video link for the livestreamed event will be emailed to all ticket holders on the day of the lecture. The captioned video will be available to view for one week, expiring on March 28, 2022.
Community access tickets are available if cost is a barrier to view this lecture. If you’d like to request a community access ticket please email us at


Carnegie Music Hall
4400 Forbes Avenue, Pittsburgh, 15213


Upcoming Lectures

Anna Monardo

MAY 23

Colm Toibin

SEP 16

Pico Iyer

SEP 30

Heather Cox Richardson

OCT 28