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George Saunders Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lincoln in the Bardo (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Swim in a Pond in the Rain (2021)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Short Stories/Novellas

Publication Order of Short Story Collections

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline (1996)Description / Buy at Amazon
Pastoralia (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
In Persuasion Nation (2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
Home (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tenth of December (2013)Description / Buy at Amazon
Liberation Day: Stories (2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

The Braindead Megaphone (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Congratulations, By the Way (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Anthologies

What Are You Looking At?(2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Year's Best Fantasy and Horror: Seventeenth Annual Collection(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Anchor Book of New American Short Stories(2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Believer Book of Writers Talking to Writers(2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Feeling Very Strange(2006)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Travel Writing 2007(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
The New Granta Book of the American Short Story(2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Not Normal, Illinois(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dedicated to the People of Darfur(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Secret History of Science Fiction(2009)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Legacy of David Foster Wallace(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Year's Best Science Fiction & Fantasy, 2012(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Best American Short Stories 2012(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fakes: An Anthology of Pseudo-Interviews, Faux-Lectures, Quasi-Letters, "Found" Texts, and Other Fraudulent Artifacts(2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Life Is Short – Art Is Shorter: In Praise of Brevity(2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
What We Do Now: Standing Up For Your Values in Trump's America(2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fight of the Century(2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Growing Up Chicago(2022)Description / Buy at Amazon

An extremely prolific and highly regarded novelist, the American writer George Saunders has been publishing his unique brand of fiction for quite some time now, whether it be in the form of short-stories and essay, or full novellas and novels. Contributing to a wide variety of different, but equally prestigious publications, such as GQ and McSweeney’s, he’s made a strong name for himself within the industry. Writing both fiction and non-fiction, he’s been able to craft himself a unique and reputable brand around his idiosyncratic voice and styling, leading to him becoming on of the most influential figures within his field.

Early and Personal Life

Born in 1958 on the 2nd of December, he was born and raised in Amarillo, Texas, in the United States of America. Growing up in the city, he took in a lot growing up, as he harnessed his passion for both reading and writing from an early age. Putting his inspiration back into his work, he developed his love of literature over the years, using his early experiences to form the basis of his later work.

Educated at Oak Forest High School, which was in Oak Forest in Illinois, he grew up in the southern suburbs of Chicago. Graduating from there he went on to gain a B.S. from Colorado School of Mines, getting a qualification in geophysical engineering. This would later serve him well as he moved on to technical writing, something which was also backed up by his M.A. from Syracuse University in creative writing.

Working with an oil exploration crew for a period of time, he’s gained a whole wealth of knowledge over the years. Not only that, but he also has a background in technical writing as well, something which is reflected in his work to this day, with his clear and concise analytical prose. Setting out his career early on, he took all his experiences and put them back into his work, building a stronger body of material.

Still writing to this very day, he has a lot more to come yet, as he continues to live with his wife, the fellow writer Paula Redick. Meeting her back on the Syracuse Writing program, which they were both attending, they quickly got engaged and have been happily married to this day. With a lot more to come on the horizon, Saunders will carry on expanding his portfolio and building his name and reputation.

Writing Career

Bringing out his first book in 1996, he arrived onto the publishing scene with his collection of short-stories and novella ‘CivilWarLand in Bad Decline’. The film right were soon purchased to this in the late nineties by Ben Stiller and, as of 2007, it started to go into development. Making an impact, though, he turned many heads creating a strong impression on both his many peers and contemporaries.

Whilst George Saunders is mostly known for his short-stories and novellas, he’s not well known, as of yet, for his longer material. He has written a full novel, though, and he will be moving into longer form on a far more regular basis. His style, though, is something that many revere him for throughout the industry, as it takes an almost clinical take on the modern parable.

Garnering a lot of critical acclaim as well, he’s not only gained commercial success in the recent years of his writing career. Getting recognition and respect from both his peers and contemporaries, he’s made a proper name for himself worldwide. With readers of all varieties, he’s managed to create a style that really resonates with his audience, as he combines both plot and character to an engaging effect.

Tackling a whole host of different subjects over the years, it’s not only his writing that’s transformed and developed, but his politics as well. Whilst remaining true to his convictions, he’s developed his ideas, creating a more nuanced a balanced tone in his work. This is reflected in his subject matter, as he’s created a style of writing that reads similar to a modern parable, with elements of genre fiction as well.

All this has lead to him becoming one of the most distinctive voices within his field, and an extremely versatile author. Always changing, whilst always remaining true to himself, he’s a singular presence with a lot to say, something which has become more and more evident over the years. There’s a lot more to come from this author yet, as his writing career grows from strength-to-strength, on into the foreseeable future.

The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip

First brought out on the 15th of August in 2000, this was initially published through the Villard Books publishing house. With illustrations by Lane Smith, this novella really marked a turning point for the author being his first stand-alone away from his short-stories. Working as a parable of sorts, it’s a very clear and concise story that instantly gets straight to the heart of its subject matter.

In the small seaside village of Frip they milk the goats each morning, after which they sell it to the neighboring towns. One problem that constantly persists, though, are the gappers which come from the ocean to attach themselves to the goats. Every three hours they must be removed by the local children and thrown back in the ocean, that is until one day that they all decide to target one goat in particular instead of spreading themselves out. Will anybody come to the rescue of the family that owns the goat? Can a compromise ever be reached? What will become of the very persistent gappers of Frip?

The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil

Originally published in 2005 on the 6th of September, this was initially brought out through Riverhead Books. Working as another stand-alone novel by the author George Saunders, it managed to garner an award nomination in 2013 with the National Book Award Finalist for Fiction. Showing a clear sense of development from his earlier novels, it manages to provide a new and in-depth story for any follower of the author.

Set in the fantastical country of Inner Horner, this sees a country that only allows in one resident at a time. With a whole host of people waiting to get in, it falls under the jurisdiction of its ruler ‘Phil’; a power-mad and tyrannical ruler. Reigning over the region, he sees in a wave of mass-hysteria and many injustices whilst ruling over his strange little country. Will there ever be an end to his rule? Can they ever hope to make any progress? What will happen during the brief and frightening reign of Phil?

Book Series In Order » Authors » George Saunders

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