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George Saunders

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

George Saunders

In six stories and the novella, Bounty, Saunders introduces readers to people struggling to survive in an increasingly haywire world.

Table of Contents:

  • CivilWarLand in Bad Decline - (1996)
  • Isabelle - (1996)
  • The Wavemaker Falters - (1996)
  • The 400-Pound CEO - (1996)
  • Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz - (1996)
  • Downtrodden Mary's Failed Campaign of Terror - (1996)
  • Bounty - (1996)


George Saunders

World Fantasy Award winning short story. It originally appeared in The New Yorker August 1st, 2005. The story can also be found in the anthology Fantasy: The Best of the Year, 2006 Edition, edited by Rich Horton. It is included in the collection In Persuasion Nation (2006).

Read the full story for free at The New Yorker.

Fox 8

George Saunders

A darkly comic short story, a fable about the all too real impact that we humans have on the environment, featuring black-and-white illustrations by Chelsea Cardinal.

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.

In Persuasion Nation

George Saunders

Talking candy bars, baby geniuses, disappointed mothers, castrated dogs, interned teenagers, and moral fables--all in this hilarious and heartbreaking collection from an author hailed as the heir to Kurt Vonnegut and Thomas Pynchon.

Table of Contents:

  • I CAN SPEAK™ - (1999)
  • My Flamboyant Grandson - (2002)
  • Jon - (2003)
  • My Amendment - (2004) - essay by George Saunders
  • The Red Bow - (2003)
  • Christmas - (2003) - essay by George Saunders
  • Adams - (2004)
  • 93990 - (2000)
  • Brad Carrigan, American - (2005)
  • In Persuasion Nation - (2005)
  • Bohemians - (2004)
  • CommComm - (2005)

Lincoln in the Bardo

George Saunders

The captivating first novel by the best-selling, National Book Award nominee George Saunders, about Abraham Lincoln and the death of his eleven year old son, Willie, at the dawn of the Civil War

On February 22, 1862, two days after his death, Willie Lincoln was laid to rest in a marble crypt in a Georgetown cemetery. That very night, shattered by grief, Abraham Lincoln arrives at the cemetery under cover of darkness and visits the crypt, alone, to spend time with his son's body.

Set over the course of that one night and populated by ghosts of the recently passed and the long dead, Lincoln in the Bardo is a thrilling exploration of death, grief, the powers of good and evil, a novel - in its form and voice - completely unlike anything you have read before. It is also, in the end, an exploration of the deeper meaning and possibilities of life, written as only George Saunders can: with humor, pathos, and grace.

My Chivalric Fiasco

George Saunders

This short story originally appeared in Harper's, September 2011. It can also be found in the anthology The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy 2012, edited by Rich Horton. The story is included in the collection Tenth of December (2013).


George Saunders

In Pastoralia elements of contemporary life are twisted, merged and amplified into a slightly skewed version of modern America. A couple live and work in a caveman theme-park, where speaking is an instantly punishable offence. A born loser attends a self-help seminar where he is encouraged to rid himself of all the people who are 'crapping in your oatmeal'. And a male exotic dancer and his family are terrorised by their decomposing aunt who visits them with a solemn message from beyond the grave. With an uncanny combination of deadpan naturalism and uproarious humour, George Saunders creates a world that is both indelibly original and yet hauntingly familiar.

Table of Contents:

  • Pastoralia - (2000)
  • Winky - (2000)
  • Sea Oak - (1998)
  • The End of FIRPO in the World - (2000)
  • The Barber's Unhappiness - (2000)
  • The Falls - (2000)

Tenth of December: Stories

George Saunders

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."

Table of Contents:

  • Victory Lap - (2009)
  • Sticks - (1995)
  • Puppy - (2007)
  • Escape from Spiderhead - (2010)
  • Exhortation - (2000)
  • Al Roosten - (2009)
  • The Semplica Girl Diaries - (2012)
  • Home - (2011)
  • My Chivalric Fiasco - (2011)
  • Tenth of December - (2011)

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

George Saunders

In a profoundly strange country called Inner Horner, large enough for only one resident at a time, citizens waiting to enter the country fall under the rule of the power-hungry and tyrannical Phil, setting off a chain of injustice and mass hysteria.

An Animal Farm for the 21st century, this is an incendiary political satire of unprecedented imagination, spiky humor, and cautionary appreciation for the hysteric in everyone. Over six years in the writing, and brilliantly and beautifully packaged, this novella is Saunders' first stand-alone, book-length work—and his first book for adults in five years.

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