Illinois State Library

Illinois Center for the Book

Individual Author Record

General Information

Name:  George Saunders  

Pen Name: None

Genre: Fiction

Audience: Adult;

Born: 1958 in Amirillo, Texas

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Illinois Connection

Saunders grew up near Chicago and graduated from Oak Forest High School in Oak Forest.

Biographical and Professional Information

George Saunders is the author of eight books, including the story collections Pastoralia and Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2006 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2013 he was awarded the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in Short Fiction and was included in Time’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.


'Prizes: ' MacArthur Fellowship Guggenheim Fellowship Lannan Fellowship O'Henry Man Booker Prize 'Tenth of December ' FINALIST, NATIONAL BOOK AWARD TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR, People, The New York Times Magazine, NPR, Entertainment Weekly, New York, The Telegraph, BuzzFeed, Kirkus Reviews, BookPage, Shelf Awareness 10 Best Fiction Books of the 2010's Decade, Time Magazine 'Lincoln in the Bardo ' #1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER WINNER, MAN BOOKER PRIZE Ten Best Books of the Year by The Washington Post, USA Today, and Maureen Corrigan, NPR Top Ten Best Novels of the Year, Time, Top Ten Notable Books, New York Times 'The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil ' Starred Review, Kirkus 'CivilWarLand in Bad Decline ' Notable Book, New York Times

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Selected Titles At Your Library

CivilWarLand in bad decline :
ISBN: 1573225797. OCLC Number: 32550283

Random House,. .

A novella and short stories on a future America, a land of corporate hypocrisy, violence and pollution. Trendy attractions include pickled babies and cows with plexiglass sides, so you can see the milk made, people buy other people's more interesting memories for downloading into their heads.

In persuasion nation :
ISBN: 159448242X. OCLC Number: 62421342

Riverhead Books,. .

This new collection of stories--his best work yet--comes from the acclaimed and mind-bendingly hilarious George Saunders.

Lincoln in the bardo :
ISBN: 0553397591. OCLC Number: 965917428

. .

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. Newspapers report that a grief-stricken Lincoln returned to the crypt several times alone to hold his boy's body. 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.

Pastoralia :
ISBN: 1573228729. OCLC Number: 43207286

. .

If Americans in the future were to try to send us a message about where our culture is heading, they might simply point to the fiction of George Saunders. Living in a world that's both indelibly original and hauntingly familiar, the characters in these stories bring to life our most absurd tendencies, and allow us to see ourselves in a shocking, uproariously funny new light.

Tenth of December :
ISBN: 0812984250. OCLC Number: 855905200

. .

A collection of stories which includes "Home," a wryly whimsical account of a soldier's return from war; "Victory lap," a tale about an inventive abduction attempt; and the title story, in which a suicidal cancer patient saves the life of a young misfit.

The braindead megaphone :
ISBN: 159448256X. OCLC Number: 83758981

Riverhead Books,. .

George Saunders's first foray into nonfiction is comprised of essays on literature, travel, and politics. At the core of this unique collection are Saunders's travel essays based on his trips to seek out the mysteries of the "Buddha Boy" of Nepal; to attempt to indulge in the extravagant pleasures of Dubai; and to join the exploits of the minutemen at the Mexican border. Saunders expertly navigates the works of Mark Twain, Kurt Vonnegut, and Esther Forbes, and leads the reader across the rocky political landscape of modern America. Emblazoned with his trademark wit and singular vision, Saunders's endeavor into the art of the essay is testament to his exceptional range and ability as a writer and thinker.

The brief and frightening reign of Phil /
ISBN: 1594481520. OCLC Number: 58920059

Riverhead Books,. .

Welcome to Inner Horner a country so small it can only accommodate one person at a time, while six other persons must wait their turn to get in. When Inner Horner shrinks even more their neighbor country declares an invasion.

The very persistent gappers of Frip
ISBN: 0812989635. OCLC Number: 913844830

. .

In the seaside village of Frip live three families: the Romos, the Ronsens, and a little girl named Capable and her father. The economy of Frip is based solely on goat's milk, and this is a problem because the village is plagued by gappers: bright orange, many-eyed creatures the size of softballs that love to attach themselves to goats. When a gapper gets near a goat, it lets out a high-pitched shriek of joy that puts the goats off giving milk, which means that every few hours the children of Frip have to go outside, brush the gappers off their goats, and toss them into the sea. The gappers have always been everyone's problem, until one day they get a little smarter, and instead of spreading out, they gang up: on Capable's goats. Free at last of the tyranny of the gappers, will her neighbors rally to help her? Or will they turn their backs, forcing Capable to bear the misfortune alone?--Excerpt from