The World Belongs to George Saunders

You know you’re dealing with a good writer when reality comes to resemble their work. A while ago I tweeted that the style sheet for the new George Saunders collection felt like an entry from the book itself. Now there’s a clip of Saunders on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, where the halting syntax, commercial sponsorship, and awkward fame of a TV news program resemble nothing so much as a classic Saunders story.

It’s George’s world now. We’re just living in it.

So let’s explore this new world by reading the title story from Tenth of December.

The pale boy with unfortunate Prince Valiant bangs and cublike mannerisms hulked to the mudroom closet and requisitioned Dad’s white coat. Then requisitioned the boots he’d spray-painted white. Painting the pellet gun white had been a no. That was a gift from Aunt Chloe. Every time she came over he had to haul it out so she could make a big stink about the woodgrain.

Today’s assignation: walk to pond, ascertain beaver dam. Likely he would be detained. By that species that lived amongst the old rock wall. They were small but, upon emerging, assumed certain proportions. And gave chase. This was just their methodology. His aplomb threw them loops. He knew that. And revelled it. He would turn, level the pellet gun, intone: Are you aware of the usage of this human implement?

Blam!

And by watching George perform another new one, “Escape from Spiderhead.”

- Brian Hurley

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