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Book A Swim in a Pond in the Rain Description/Summary:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • From the Booker Prize–winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December comes a literary master class on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about ourselves—and our world today. “One of the most accurate and beautiful depictions of what it is like to be inside the mind of a writer that I’ve ever read.”—Parul Sehgal, The New York Times For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. In his introduction, Saunders writes, “We’re going to enter seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world, made for a specific purpose that our time maybe doesn’t fully endorse but that these writers accepted implicitly as the aim of art—namely, to ask the big questions, questions like, How are we supposed to be living down here? What were we put here to accomplish? What should we value? What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it?” He approaches the stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is a technical craft, but also a way of training oneself to see the world with new openness and curiosity. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.
Book A Swim in a Pond in the Rain Description/Summary:
THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER A GUARDIAN, INDEPENDENT, IRISH TIMES AND EVENING STANDARD BOOK OF 2021 'This book is a delight, and it's about delight too. How necessary, at our particular moment' Tessa Hadley, Guardian From the New York Times-bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December comes a literary master class on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about ourselves - and our world today. For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it's more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. In his introduction, Saunders writes, “We're going to enter seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world, made for a specific purpose that our time maybe doesn't fully endorse but that these writers accepted implicitly as the aim of art-namely, to ask the big questions, questions like, How are we supposed to be living down here? What were we put here to accomplish? What should we value? What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it?” He approaches the stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is a technical craft, but also a way of training oneself to see the world with new openness and curiosity. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.
Book A Swim in a Pond in the Rain Description/Summary:
In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, George Saunders guides the reader through seven classic Russian short stories he's been teaching for twenty years as a professor in the prestigious Syracuse University graduate MFA creative writing program. Paired with stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, these essays are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it's more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. Saunders approaches each of these stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. For the process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is as much a craft as it is a quality of openness and a willingness to see the world through new eyes. Funny, frank, and rigorous, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain ultimately shows how great fiction can change a person's life and become a benchmark of one's moral and ethical beliefs.
Short stories have long been regarded as a potent form of writing. Concentrated and distilled yet engaging the reader at a pace that commands attention in the pages it occupies. Narrative and characters are still fully fleshed and the story is no longer, or shorter, than it absolutely must. Handed down from the oral tradition they have been variously regarded as 'apprentice pieces' written by authors on their way to becoming better writers as well as fodder for innumerable periodicals over the decades for those who liked their reading in more succinct chunks or perhaps with a 'cliffhanger ending' to keep the interest until the next exciting instalment. Today they are regarded as works in their own right and, in the pens of the most highly skilled, to be greatly admired. The Russians of course have produced some of the very greatest writers and some of the best - and longest - novels. In this series we take the very best of those Russian Short stories and present them here.
Book The Brain-Dead Megaphone Description/Summary:
In this, his first collection of essays, Saunders trains his eye on the real world rather than the fictional and reveals it to be brimming with wonderful, marvellous strangeness. As he faces a political and cultural reality saturated with lazy media, false promises and political doublespeak, Saunders invokes the wisdom of American literary heroes Twain, Vonnegut and Barthelme and inspires us to re-examine our assumptions about the world we live in, as we struggle to discover what is really there.
A collection of stories and essays by the award-winning author of Dark Emu, showcasing his shimmering genius across a lifetime of work. This volume of Bruce Pascoe’s best and most celebrated stories and essays, collected here for the first time, traverses his long career and explores his enduring fascination with Australia’s landscape, culture and history. Featuring new fiction alongside Pascoe’s most revered and thought-provoking nonfiction – including from his modern classic Dark Emu – Salt distils the intellect, passion and virtuosity of his work. It’s time all Australians know the range and depth of this most marvellous of our writers. ‘Salt demonstrates why Bruce Pascoe’s voice is important to the country.’ —Kim Scott ‘A paradigm shift ... a wonderful expanse of thinking and storytelling ... In prose that is funny in one moment and devastating the next, Pascoe moves us from wry humour [to] the deep sadness that follows the wonder of discovering a history of richness and fullness deliberately obscured.’ —Marie Matteson, Readings
Book Russian Short Stories (Illustrated) Description/Summary:
This book is a collection of Nineteen selected stories by the renowned Russian authors. The most of the 27 illustrations are the pictures of the Greek and Roman Goddesses worshiped before the influence of Christianity and monotheism. The authors and the stories are:The Queen Of Spades - By Alexsandr S. Pushkin; The Cloak - By Nikolay V. Gogol; The District Doctor - By Ivan S. Turgenev; The Christmas Tree And The Wedding - By Fiodor M. Dostoyevsky; God Sees The Truth, But Waits - By Leon. Tolstoy; How A Muzhik Fed Two Officials - By M.Y. Saltykov [N. Shchedrin]; Banquet Given By The Mayor, The Shades and A Phantasy - By Vladimir G. Korlenko; The Signal - By Vsevolod M. Garshin; The Darling, The Bet and Vanka - By Anton P. Chekhov; Hide And Seek - By Fiodor Sologub; Dethroned - By I.N. Potapenko; The Servant - By S.T. Semyonov; One Autumn Night - By Maxim Gorky; The Revolutionist - By Michaïl P. Artzybashev; The Outrage : A True Story - By Aleksandr I. Kuprin. Beat regards.Asino Calcio
Book In the Land of the Cyclops Description/Summary:
From New York Times bestselling author Karl Ove Knausgaard comes a collection of ambitious, remarkably erudite essays on art, literature, culture, and philosophy. In the Land of the Cyclops is Karl Ove Knausgaard's first collection of essays to be published in English. In these wide-ranging pieces, Knausgaard reflects openly on Ingmar Bergman's notebooks, Anselm Kiefer, the Northern Lights, Madame Bovary, Rembrandt, and the role of an editor with penetrating intelligence. Accompanied by color reproductions throughout, these essays illuminate Cindy Sherman's shadowlands, the sublime mystery of Sally Mann's vision, and the serious play of Francesca Woodman. These essays capture Knausgaard's remarkable ability to mediate between the personal and the universal, between life and art. Each piece glimmers with Knausgaard's candor and his longing to authentically see, understand, and experience the world.
Contains a collection of short satirical works, including "The Red Bow," in which a town is consumed by pet-killing hysteria, and "Bohemians," in which two Eastern European widows attempt to fit into suburban America.
WINNER OF THE 2014 FOLIO PRIZE AND SHORTLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD 2013 George Saunders's most wryly hilarious and disturbing collection yet, Tenth of December illuminates human experience and explores figures lost in a labyrinth of troubling preoccupations. A family member recollects a backyard pole dressed for all occasions; Jeff faces horrifying ultimatums and the prospect of DarkenfloxxTM in some unusual drug trials; and Al Roosten hides his own internal monologue behind a winning smile that he hopes will make him popular. With dark visions of the future riffing against ghosts of the past and the ever-settling present, this collection sings with astonishing charm and intensity.
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • WINNER OF THE MAN BOOKER PRIZE The “devastatingly moving” (People) first novel from the author of Tenth of December: a moving and original father-son story featuring none other than Abraham Lincoln, as well as an unforgettable cast of supporting characters, living and dead, historical and invented Named One of Paste’s Best Novels of the Decade • Named One of the Ten Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, USA Today, and Maureen Corrigan, NPR • One of Time’s Ten Best Novels of the Year • A New York Times Notable Book • One of O: The Oprah Magazine’s Best Books of the Year February 1862. The Civil War is less than one year old. The fighting has begun in earnest, and the nation has begun to realize it is in for a long, bloody struggle. Meanwhile, President Lincoln’s beloved eleven-year-old son, Willie, lies upstairs in the White House, gravely ill. In a matter of days, despite predictions of a recovery, Willie dies and is laid to rest in a Georgetown cemetery. “My poor boy, he was too good for this earth,” the president says at the time. “God has called him home.” Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returns, alone, to the crypt several times to hold his boy’s body. From that seed of historical truth, George Saunders spins an unforgettable story of familial love and loss that breaks free of its realistic, historical framework into a supernatural realm both hilarious and terrifying. Willie Lincoln finds himself in a strange purgatory where ghosts mingle, gripe, commiserate, quarrel, and enact bizarre acts of penance. Within this transitional state—called, in the Tibetan tradition, the bardo—a monumental struggle erupts over young Willie’s soul. Lincoln in the Bardo is an astonishing feat of imagination and a bold step forward from one of the most important and influential writers of his generation. Formally daring, generous in spirit, deeply concerned with matters of the heart, it is a testament to fiction’s ability to speak honestly and powerfully to the things that really matter to us. Saunders has invented a thrilling new form that deploys a kaleidoscopic, theatrical panorama of voices to ask a timeless, profound question: How do we live and love when we know that everything we love must end? “A luminous feat of generosity and humanism.”—Colson Whitehead, The New York Times Book Review “A masterpiece.”—Zadie Smith
The acclaimed New York Times bestselling author of Smash Cut, Flannery, and City Poet delivers the first popular biography of Rumi, the thirteenth-century Persian poet revered by contemporary Western readers. Ecstatic love poems of Rumi, a Persian poet and Sufi mystic born over eight centuries ago, are beloved by millions of readers in America as well as around the world. He has been compared to Shakespeare for his outpouring of creativity and to Saint Francis of Assisi for his spiritual wisdom. Yet his life has long remained the stuff of legend rather than intimate knowledge. In this breakthrough biography, Brad Gooch brilliantly brings to life the man and puts a face to the name Rumi, vividly coloring in his time and place—a world as rife with conflict as our own. The map of Rumi’s life stretched over 2,500 miles. Gooch traces this epic journey from Central Asia, where Rumi was born in 1207, traveling with his family, displaced by Mongol terror, to settle in Konya, Turkey. Pivotal was the disruptive appearance of Shams of Tabriz, who taught him to whirl and transformed him from a respectable Muslim preacher into a poet and mystic. Their vital connection as teacher and pupil, friend and beloved, is one of the world’s greatest spiritual love stories. When Shams disappeared, Rumi coped with the pain of separation by composing joyous poems of reunion, both human and divine. Ambitious, bold, and beautifully written, Rumi’s Secret reveals the unfolding of Rumi’s devotion to a "religion of love," remarkable in his own time and made even more relevant for the twenty-first century by this compelling account.
From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo, a darkly comic short story about the unintended consequences unleashed by our quest to tame the natural world—featuring gorgeous black-and-white illustrations by Chelsea Cardinal. Fox 8 has always been known as the daydreamer in his pack, the one his fellow foxes regard with a knowing snort and a roll of the eyes. That is, until he develops a unique skill: He teaches himself to speak “Yuman” by hiding in the bushes outside a house and listening to children’s bedtime stories. The power of language fuels his abundant curiosity about people—even after “danjer” arrives in the form of a new shopping mall that cuts off his food supply, sending Fox 8 on a harrowing quest to help save his pack. Told with his distinctive blend of humor and pathos, Fox 8 showcases the extraordinary imaginative talents of George Saunders, whom The New York Times called “the writer for our time.”
'Saunders is an astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic and funny - telling just the kind of stories we need to get us through these times' Thomas Pynchon In PASTORALIA elements of contemporary life are twisted, merged and amplified into a slightly skewed version of modern America. A couple live and work in a caveman theme-park, where speaking is an instantly punishable offence. A born loser attends a self-help seminar where he is encouraged to rid himself of all the people who are 'crapping in your oatmeal'. And a male exotic dancer and his family are terrorised by their decomposing aunt who visits them with a solemn message from beyond the grave. With an uncanny combination of deadpan naturalism and uproarious humour, George Saunders creates a world that is both indelibly original and yet hauntingly familiar ...
Book What Unites Us: The Graphic Novel Description/Summary:
In this graphic novel adaptation of his bestselling collection of essays, legendary news anchor Dan Rather provides a voice of reason and explores what it means to be a true patriot. Brought to life in stunning color by artist Tim Foley, What Unites Us: The Graphic Novel takes apart the building blocks of this country, from the freedoms that define us, to the values that have transformed us, to the institutions that sustain us. Rather’s vast experience and his unique perspective as one of America's most renowned newscasters shed light on who we were and who we are today, allowing us to see a possible future, where we are one country; united.
The graphic novel Are You Listening? is an intimate and emotionally soaring story about friendship, grief, and healing from Eisner Award winner Tillie Walden. Bea is on the run. And then, she runs into Lou. This chance encounter sends them on a journey through West Texas, where strange things follow them wherever they go. The landscape morphs into an unsettling world, a mysterious cat joins them, and they are haunted by a group of threatening men. To stay safe, Bea and Lou must trust each other as they are driven to confront buried truths. The two women share their stories of loss and heartbreak—and a startling revelation about sexual assault—culminating in an exquisite example of human connection. This magical realistic adventure from the celebrated comics creator of Spinning and On a Sunbeam will stay with readers long after the final gorgeously illustrated page. 2020 Eisner Award Winner, Best Graphic Album--New A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book of 2019 A National Public Radio (NPR) Best Book of 2019 An O Magazine Best LGBTQ Book of 2019 One of The Comics Beat's Best Comics of 2019 A Lambda Literary Award Finalist
One of the most acclaimed and original story collections of the last decade, Peter Orner's first book explores the brief but far-reaching occasions that haunt us. The discovery of a murdered man in a bathrobe by the side of a road, the destruction of a town's historic City Hall building, and the recollection of a cruel wartime decision are equally affecting in Orner's vivid and intimate gaze. The first half of the book concerns the lives of unrelated strangers across the American landscape, and the second introduces two very different Jewish families, one on the East Coast, the other in the Midwest. Yet Orner's real territory is memory, and this book of wide-ranging and innovative stories remains an important and unique contribution to the art of the American short story.