Summary and book reviews of In Persuasion Nation by George Saunders

In Persuasion Nation

by George Saunders

In Persuasion Nation
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  • First Published:
    Apr 2006, 240 pages
    Paperback:
    Mar 2007, 240 pages

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Book Summary

In a series of short stories, George Saunders explores consumerism gone haywire in a country and era somewhat like our own.

George Saunders has earned enthusiastic acclaim and a devoted cult-following with his first two story collections and the recent novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil. With his new book, In Persuasion Nation, Saunders ups the ante in every way, and is poised to break out to a wide new audience.

The stories In Persuasion Nation are easily his best work yet. "The Red Bow,"about a town consumed by pet-killing hysteria, won a 2004 National Magazine Award and "Bohemians," the story of two supposed Eastern European widows trying to fit in in suburban USA, is included in The Best American Short Stories 2005. His new book includes both unpublished work, and stories that first appeared in The New Yorker, Harper's, and Esquire. The stories in this volume work together as a whole whose impact far exceeds the simple sum of its parts. Fans of Saunders know and love him for his sharp and hilarious satirical eye. But In Persuasion Nation also includes more personal and poignant pieces that reveal a new kind of emotional conviction in Saunders's writing.

Saunders's work in the last six years has come to be recognized as one of the strongest-and most consoling-cries in the wilderness of the millennium's political and cultural malaise. In Persuasion Nation's sophistication and populism should establish Saunders once and for all as this generation's literary voice of wisdom and humor in a time when we need it most.

My Amendment

Mr Terence Rackman
Leadtown Courier-Examiner
Leadtown, PA, 13245


Re: "Not in This Town, Friend," June 15 issue, "My Turn" Lifestyle Section

Dear Mr. Rackman,

Very much enjoyed your recent article and wish to weigh in with some of my thoughts on this troubling matter. I agree with all you had to say. Like any sane person, I am against Same-Sex Marriage, and in favor of a constitutional amendment to ban it. To tell the truth, I feel that, in the interest of true moral rigor, it is necessary for us to go a step further, which is why I would like to propose a supplementary constitutional amendment. In the town where I live, I have frequently observed a phenomenon I have come to think of as Samish-Sex Marriage. Take, for example, "K," a male friend of mine, of slight build, with a ponytail. "K" is married to "S," a tall, stocky female with extremely short hair, almost a crewcut. Often, while watching "...

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Reviews

BookBrowse Review

BookBrowse

These are outrageous, compelling and very funny stories but, as always, you don't have to take BookBrowse's word for it, instead you can read a complete short story for yourself at BookBrowse, and in the sidebar you'll find a link to audio downloads of two more stories from the collection.   (Reviewed by BookBrowse Review Team).

Full Review Members Only (240 words).

Media Reviews

Publisher's Weekly

Saunders's vital theme...comes through with subtlety and fresh turns.

Booklist - Donna Seaman

Funny, creepy, mournful, and outraged, Saunder's ingenious and superbly crafted satirical stories blaze like warning lights on the road to hell.

Kirkus Reviews

Saunders's work is as effective as social commentary as it is at exploring the frontiers of fiction.

Reader Reviews

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Beyond the Book

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 ...

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