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ASwim in a Pond in the Rain

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George Saunders's debut novel Lincoln in the Bardo was a literary event, winning the 2017 Man Boo... Read More

Product Description

George Saunders's debut novel Lincoln in the Bardo was a literary event, winning the 2017 Man Booker Prize and the Premio Rezzori Prize. A New York Times number one bestseller, it was chosen as a book of the year by the Guardian, New York Times, Sunday Times, The Times, Daily Telegraph, Financial Times, Washington Post, Economist, Independent and New Statesman, and was declared 'a masterpiece' by Zadie SmithA series of luminous, profound and surprising reflections on great stories of Russian literature - including works by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Gogol - A Swim in a Pond in the Rain lifts the curtains on Saunders' famous classes at Syracuse UniversityA collection about reading, writing, living and dying, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain will be treasured by Saunders fans and delight readers of Stephen King's On Writing and Anne Lamott's Bird by BirdGeorge Saunders is the author of nine books, including Lincoln in the Bardo, winner of the 2017 Man Booker Prize and the Premio Rezzori prize, which was also shortlisted for the International Dublin Literary Award. Tenth of December was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the inaugural Folio Prize. He has received MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships and the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University. georgesaundersbooks.comTHE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER PICKED BY THE SUNDAY TIMES, GUARDIAN, INDEPENDENT, IRISH TIMES, SPECTATOR, TLS, NEW STATESMAN AND EVENING STANDARD AS A BOOK OF 2021 'A masterclass from a warm and engagingly enthusiastic companion' Guardian Summer Reading Picks 2021 'This book is a delight, and it's about delight too. How necessary, at our particular moment' Tessa Hadley ________________ 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.From the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo, a literary masterclass on how to become both a better writer and reader, on what makes great stories work, and what they can tell us about how to liveA wonderful book . This book is a delight . I love the warmth with which he writes about this teaching, and agree wholeheartedly . All this makes Saunders's book very different from just another "how to" creative writing manual, or just another critical essay . One of the pleasures of this book is feeling his own thinking move backwards and forwards, between the writer dissecting practice and the reader entering in through the spell of the words, to dwell inside the storySaunders is such a wise and amiable teacher ... A page-turnerLuminously perceptiveA masterclass in how to be human ... unfailingly, often thrillingly illuminating . Published any time, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain would be a joyous reminder that fiction is "the most effective mode of mind-to-mind communication ever devised". Published now, it feels like vital and civilising corrective to the pretend certainties of public life - and, increasingly, of our personal lives tooOne of the most accurate and beautiful depictions of what it is like to be inside the mind of a writer that I've ever readThe Russian greats truly shine in this account; but Saunders is the real star. His way of expressing himself is simultaneously supremely intellectual and jovially down-to-earth. It's rare to read a book and love it so much that you think it's simply perfect. A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is that bookJoins a long tradition of using Russian literature as a guide to life . Practical and playful . it also probes exactly how narrative techniques make us more alert, attentive and sympathetic in reading books and the world around usBy the end Saunders is wondering if there is indeed any point in writing at all. I won't spoil his conclusion. Suffice to say, the hairs on the back of my neck were alertSuffused with wry humour . Not an academic interpretation, but a reader's companion. I was pleasurably absorbed from start to finishThe Booker-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo considers the art of fiction through seven classic Russian short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and GogolThe combination of Saunders's piercing mind and the Russian subjects being Anton Chekhov, Ivan Turgenev, Leo Tolstoy and Nikolai Gogol promises to be a highbrow treat for fans of literature, and a book offering deep insights into storytelling and how narrative functionsA literary masterclassBut the real star of A Swim isn't Chekhov or Turgenev or Tolstoy or Gogol - it's Saunders himself ... This book will quite simply make you a better, more observant and more understanding readerPart intro to Russian literature, part musings on craft, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is all pleasureA worship song to writers and readersHis warmth, enthusiasm and homespun metaphors - all part of that "writerly charm" - banish any sense of the chilly, mechanistic Fiction Lab ... Gleefully overshoots its brief as a technical manual or how-to guide . A Swim in a Pond in the Rain generates more fun, more wit, more sympathetic sense, than we have any right to hope for from a 400-page critical studyThere should be more books like thisA masterclass from a warm and engagingly enthusiastic companionA masterclass in short fiction by one of the finest teachers alive. It is a joyously civilised primer on how to write - and live - betterWarm, playful and acutely perceptiveNot just astute, humane lit crit but an inspirational manifesto for the art of fictionA masterclass in writing . a real treat[I] loved George Saunders's A Swim in a Pond in the Rain . Genial, generous and illuminating ... He is a great teacher as well as a great practitioner, and makes you see moreA tin of caviar sort of a book . Saunders guides, prods, nudges, urges you to disagree . It will stay with you and transform how you read story by story, sentence by sentence

Product Details

Title: ASwim in a Pond in the Rain
Author: George Saunders
SKU: BK0451201
EAN: 9781526624284

About Author

George Saunders is the author of twelve books. His debut novel Lincoln in the Bardo won the 2017 Man Booker Prize and the Premio Rezzori prize. His collection Tenth of December was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the inaugural Folio Prize. He has received MacArthur and Guggenheim fellowships, the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and the 2023 Library of Congress Prize. He has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was named one of the world's 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University. georgesaundersbooks.com

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