His remarkable first collection of stories was hailed by The New York Times as "the debut of an exciting new voice in fiction." Garrison Keillor called him "wildly funny, pure, generousall that a great humorist should be." With this new collection, George Saunders takes us even further into the shocking, uproarious and oddly familiar landscape of his imagination.
The stories in Pastoralia are set in a slightly skewed version of America, where elements of contemporary life have been merged, twisted, and amplified, casting their absurdityand our humanityin a startling new light. Whether he writes a gothic morality tale in which a male exotic dancer is haunted by his maiden aunt from beyond the grave, or about a self-help guru who tells his followers his mission is to discover who's been "crapping in your oatmeal," Saunders's stories are both indelibly strange and vividly real.
George Saunders has been identified as a writer in the tradition of Mark Twain, Thomas Pynchon, and Kurt Vonnegut"a savage satirist with a sentimental streak," said The New York Times. In this new collection, Saunders brings greater wisdom and maturity to the worldview he established with CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, leaving no doubt about his place as the brilliant successor to these writers.
I have to admit I'm not feeling my best. Not that I'm doing so bad. Not that I really have anything to complain about. Not that I would actually verbally complain if I did have something to complain about. No. Because I'm Thinking Positive/Saying Positive. I'm sitting back on my haunches, waiting for people to poke in their heads. Although it's been thirteen days since anyone poked in their head and Janet's speaking English to me more and more, which is partly why I feel so, you know, crummy.
"Jeez," she says first thing this morning. "I'm so tired of roast goat I could scream."
What am I supposed to say to that? It puts me in a bad spot. She thinks I'm a goody-goody and that her speaking English makes me uncomfortable. And she's right. It does. Because we've got it good. Every morning, a new goat, just killed, sits in our Big Slot. In our Little Slot, a book of matches. That's better than some. Some are required to catch ...
If you liked Pastoralia, try these:
In the stories of Wells Tower, families fall apart and messily try to reassemble themselves. His version of America is touched with the seamy splendor of the dropout, the misfit: failed inventors, boozy dreamers, hapless fathers, wayward sons.
The strange, compelling, sparkling, and mysterious universe of horse racing is depicted with such verve and originality, such tenderness, such clarity, and, above all, such sheer exuberance.
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Southern Gothic fantasy with a contemporary flare set in Savannah
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