April 26: VWRS - A Reading by George Saunders
George Saunders is the author of three collections of short stories: the bestselling "Pastoralia," set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape; "CivilWarLand in Bad Decline," a Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award, and "In Persuasion Nation," one of three finalists for the 2006 STORY Prize for best short story collection of the year. "Pastoralia" and "CivilWarLand in Bad Decline" were both New York Times Notable Books. Saunders is also the author of the novella-length illustrated fable, "The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil," which takes us into a profoundly strange country called Inner Horner, and the New York Times bestselling children's book, "The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip," illustrated by Lane Smith, which has also won major children’s literature prizes in Italy and the Netherlands. The Boston Globe lauds Saunders’ ability to “construct a story of absurdist satire, then locate within it a moment of searing humanity."
Most recently, he published a book of essays, "The Braindead Megaphone," which received critical acclaim and landed him spots on The Charlie Rose Show, Late Night with David Letterman, and The Colbert Report. Vanity Fair wrote of the book, "Saunders’s bitingly clever and compassionate essays are a Mark Twain-syle shot in the arm for Americans, an antidote to the dumbing down virus plaguing our country. Well, we live in hope." His work appears regularly in The New Yorker, GQ, and Harpers Magazine, and has appeared in the "O’Henry," "Best American Short Story," "Best Non-Required Reading," and "Best American Travel Writing" anthologies.
In 2001, Saunders was selected by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 100 top most creative people in entertainment, and by The New Yorker in 2002 and one of the best writers 40 and under. In 2006, he was awarded both a MacArthur Fellowship, for "bring[ing] to contemporary American fiction a sense of humor, pathos, and literary style all his own," and a Guggenheim Fellowship. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University.