An Early Career as a Geophysical Engineer: Background information when reading Tenth of December

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Tenth of December


by George Saunders

Tenth of December
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  • First Published:
    Jan 2013, 272 pages
    Jan 2014, 288 pages

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Book Reviewed by:
Norah Piehl

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About this Book

Beyond the Book:
An Early Career as a Geophysical Engineer

George SaundersGeorge Saunders is well known for his inventive use of language; perhaps his willingness to explore and exploit the forms and function of language derives in part from his earlier career, as a geophysical engineer. Saunders credits his early exposure to the works of Ayn Rand (some of the first fiction he recalls reading) with his decision to enter the field of engineering in college. "I read [her books] and I thought that's what I want to do," Saunders said in an interview with Guernica, "I want to be one of the earth movers, the scientific people who power the world. And I don't want to be one of these lisping liberal artsy leeches." Soon after getting his degree from the Colorado School of Mines, Saunders was traveling the world - including an extended stay in Sumatra - doing site evaluation for oil drilling.

During this somewhat isolated and lonely time, Saunders began reading literature more widely and was introduced to the work of other fiction authors beyond Rand - notably ...

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