George Saunders

Back when George Saunders was a geophysics graduate with dreams of being a writer, the faculty at Syracuse University’s creative writing program decided to take a risk on him. They called him their “grand experiment.” Today, George Saunders has multiple awards and a MacArthur “Genius” grant to his name, along with a new collection of short stories called “Tenth of December,” which the New York Times called “the best book you’ll read this year.” We talk with George Saunders about crafting a short story and his unique characters.

George Saunders, English professor at Syracuse University, author of short story collections including "Tenth of December," "Pastoralia" and "In Persuasion Nation"

  • Fyza Parviz

    Mr.Saunders was an engineer before he became a full time writer. I was wondering if he could talk about how he transitioned into writing. And any advice for others trying to pursue the same path.

  • CyberSkull

    What does your guest think of writing for video games?

  • Eduard

    Have you ever been represented in any of your characters? Eduard from Spain

  • Katherine Cramer

    I’ll suggest your latest book to my Book Club (named Broads With Books). We meet tomorrow to discuss The Light Between Oceans and Telegraph Avenue is up next. What are some books you might suggest? A second question is, “Are you willing to describe where you write?” What would I see in that space?

  • TimDoyle

    I like this conversation and haven’t heard of George Saunders before. I like his personal story and persona.

  • Valerie

    Great interview. Why, O why do I have to go in to work instead of sitting in my car to listen to the rest. :-/

  • Kathy Sprague

    Just finished the first 3 stories in Tenth of Dec. I can already tell I’ll be happily re-reading this in years to come. The story, Puppy, just floored me. I don’t know that I’ve read anything more powerful about the tragedy of misjudging others.

  • Chris OConnell

    The woman from Marin could BUY what is supposedly the greatest book instead of waiting for 156 holds from the library. I mean, I like the library too but without buyers, there’d be no books.

  • XYZ

    Anyone remember the names of the books he recommended?

    • Chris OConnell

      * “Senselessness” (Guatemalan author??)
      * “Europiana”
      * “The Flame Alphabet”

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor