Monday, December 11, 2017

Writer George Saunders

George Saunders has published nine books, according to his website, including four of short fiction—CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (1996), Pastoralia (2000), In Persuasion Nation (2006), and Tenth of December (2013)—the novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (2005), and the recent multiple-award-winning novel Lincoln in the Bardo (2017). He's also written a children's book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip (2005).

I've only read Tenth of December, and found it amazing. I am about to simultaneously read and listen to Lincoln, on a friend's suggestion: the audio version apparently helps bring all the many voices in the book to life, but I want to read along to be able to (I hope) better appreciate the language. Because Saunders is a master. Hands down.

Here, I thought I'd just provide some links to a few of his interviews and comments on the writing process et cetera, to dip into now and then (again and again). Plus a few YouTube videos, just for fun. He seems to enjoy speaking about writing and his approach to it. It's all illuminating.

Watch [Musician] Jason Isbell Meet George Saunders and Have an Epic Conversation, from GQ 10/27/17 (yes, you can watch: there's a 54-minute video included)
Getting Out of Our Normal Crap: George Saunders on Writing and Transcendence, from the Los Angeles Review of Books 5/22/17
George Saunders: What Writers Really Do When They Write, from the Guardian 3/4/17
The Rumpus Interview with George Saunders, 2/20/17
My Writing Education: A Time Line, from the New Yorker 10/22/15
George Saunders: My Desktop, from the Guardian 4/22/13
Graduation speech at Syracuse University, 2013: "The Importance of Kindness" (and you can see a sweet animation of it here).

Here's a summary of points he made in a talk at the Tattered Cover Bookstore in Denver.

This video is on the "tricks of the writing process."

This one is on writing and Saunders's tactics for ruthless editing.

Here he is reading and speaking about his process for an hour in 2013 (Talks at Google):

This article provides links to ten of his stories—including "Sea Oak" (New Yorker, 12/28/98), which has recently been made into an Amazon original TV show, pilot only so far, with Glenn Close. It's wacky!

1 comment:

  1. I've tried to listen to Lincoln on two occasions and stopped both times, thinking it was more a print book than an audio book. Maybe I have it wrong, and it's a both book!