Some may wonder what George Saunders, the brilliant and often bitingly satirical author whose work largely came of age during the George W. Bush administration, would find to focus on in this nominally less politically fraught time. It turns out that to a writer for whom humanity's moral imperatives - indeed the very essence of humanity itself - is at the center of his attention, there's still more than enough material to populate a devastatingly insightful collection like Tenth of December. The ten stories collected here, most of which were originally published in The New Yorker (as well as Story, Prospect, and Harper's magazines), hold up a brutally detailed mirror to the human condition, forcing us to examine ourselves yellow teeth, wrinkles, warts, and all.
People do terrible things to one another in Saunders's stories. But, then again, this is true in real life, after all....
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No Man's Land
by Simon Tolkien
Inspired by the experiences of his grandfather, J. R. R. Tolkien, during World War I.
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