The other day my eyes happened to land on an article title in The New York Times which contained the words of my birthday: “Tenth Of December”. Naturally, I clicked on the link and was thrilled to discover what the Times is calling, “The Best Book You’ll Read This Year”. As I read NYTimes writer Joel Lovell’s interview and profile of renowned American author George Saunders and his brand new critically acclaimed collection of short stories entitled Tenth Of December, I grew even more deeply captivated with the idea of what it must be like to be able to make a successful living as a world class storyteller. George Saunders has done exactly that, and over the course of his career, the 54-year-old has built a platinum reputation for himself as one of America’s greatest writers. Saunders published his very first book, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, in 1996 at the age of 37, and in his brand new book he continues to evolve his masterful style. Joel Lovell of The New York Times writes:
Junot Díaz described the Saunders’s effect to me this way: “There’s no one who has a better eye for the absurd and dehumanizing parameters of our current culture of capital. But then the other side is how the cool rigor of his fiction is counterbalanced by this enormous compassion. Just how capacious his moral vision is sometimes gets lost, because few people cut as hard or deep as Saunders does.” And Tenth of December is more moving and emotionally accessible than anything that has come before. “I want to be more expansive,” Saunders said. “If there are 10 readers out there, let’s assume I’m never going to reach two of them. They’ll never be interested. And let’s say I’ve already got three of them, maybe four. If there’s something in my work that’s making numbers five, six and seven turn off to it, I’d like to figure out what that is. I can’t change who I am and what I do, but maybe there’s a way to reach those good and dedicated readers that the first few books might not have appealed to. I’d like to make a basket big enough that it included them.”
You can read the entire New York Times profile of George Saunders by visiting NYTimes.com. To pick up your own copy of George Saunders’ Tenth Of December simply head over to Amazon. To enter the complete archive of Saunders’ work for The New Yorker you can visit NewYorker.com, as well as check out his interview with Charlie Rose from last week in the link below. Saunders is currently a professor at Syracuse University, he won the National Magazine Award for Fiction in 1994, 1996, 2000, and 2004 and second prize in the O. Henry Awards in 1997. He teaches creative writing in Syracuse University’s MFA program, and his fiction often focuses on the trivial routines of consumerism. In 2006 Saunders was awarded a $500,000 MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, commonly called a Genius Grant. In the same year he was also awarded a Guggenheim Fellowship.
YOU CAN WATCH CHARLIE ROSE’S CONVERSATION WITH GEORGE SAUNDERS BY FAST FORWARDING TO THE 22:34 MARK.