Beyond the Book: Background information when reading In Persuasion Nation

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In Persuasion Nation

by George Saunders

In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders X
In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2006, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2007, 240 pages

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Beyond the Book

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George Saunders was born in 1958 and raised on the south side of Chicago. In 1981 he received a B.S. in Geophysical Engineering from Colorado School of Mines in Golden, Colorado. According to his bio he has been an environment engineer, a technical writer and geophysical engineer, he has also worked in Sumatra, as a doorman in Beverly Hills, a roofer in Chicago, a convenience store clerk, a guitarist in a Texas country-and-western band, and a knuckle-puller in a West Texas slaughterhouse.

In 1988 he received a masters in creative writing from Syracuse University, and has been on the faculty since 1997 (he has also been a visiting writer at various universities, and an adjunct professor at others).

To date he has published three volumes of short stories, Civilwarland in Bad Decline, Pastoralia and In Persuasion Nation; one novella, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil, and The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip for children. Having now published "a kind of trilogy of short stories" he plans to give himself some time to work out where to go next with his writing, but does not have plans to write a full-length novel anytime soon.

When asked who has influenced him he cites a long list that includes Ernest Hemingway, Thomas Wolfe, Jack Kerouac, Ayn Rand, and Kalil Gibran and others, plus the comedian Steve Martin, Monty Python, and Dr. Seuss. He is married with two children.

Useful links:

  • If the complete short story at BookBrowse is not enough for you, you'll find two more stories available as free audio downloads at the official In Persuasion Nation website.
  • You can also browse Saunder's earlier collection of short stories, Pastoralia, at BookBrowse.

This article was originally published in May 2006, and has been updated for the March 2007 paperback release. Click here to go to this issue.

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