ISBN: 1984856022
EAN13: 9781984856029
Language: English
Release Date: Jan 12, 2021
Pages: 384
Dimensions: 1" H x 9.25" L x 6.13" W
Weight: 1.25 lbs.
Format: Hardcover
Publisher:

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life

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Book Overview

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELER - From the 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.

One of the most accurate and beautiful depictions of what it is like to be inside the mind of a writer that I've ever read.--Parul Sehgal, The New York Times

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, Read More chevron_right

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Book Reviews (11)

5
  |   11  reviews
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5
   Inspiring
The book is really an intimate conversation with Mr. Saunders. It is certainly one of the most inspiring books on creativity that I ever encountered. I am compelled to work for you.
 
5
   For readers or writers, a must!
This book will never make it to my Bookshelf. I use it so often. Heaven!
 
5
   Startled, I stretch out my legs and live.
Insights into the minds of George Saunders and some of my favourite Russian authors. Whoohoo! Whoohoo! A joy to read, to read. And inspiring.
 
5
   An education in reading, writing, and decency
If you ever wanted to read more intelligently or write better or be a decent human, this book is for you.
 
5
   This book is like taking a very specialized course with George Saunders .
Written for prospective writers, but also for readers like me, this is an incredible close reading of 7 wonderful and memorable short stories by 4 of Russia's greatest writers.
 
5
   How great writing works - an explanation
Excellent. Like attending a master class in creative writing with a professor skilled in both writing and teaching, like attending a master class in writing.
 
5
   Good read
Sometimes it seemed longer than a Russian winter, but then it was over too soon. Here are the five words :
 
3
   How’s The Water?
A good chatty companion for writing short prose with the help of Russian masters is a good companion. Here the biggies are Tolstoy, Turgenev, Chekhov. Most stories allow most Saunders to unfold before surgically extricating each master's techniques for their superior exacting fiction. Saunders likes the sound of his own voice and his analytical sections tend to flutter on a little too long.
 
5
   Truly a Master-Class
A knowledgeable walk through some highly regarded Russian short stories and how and why they work the way they do...
 
5
   Startling insights about human nature
I got up excited every morning because after I poured coffee and fed the dog, I spent an hour reading. The perfect encounter was the Geo Saunders's. I learned things about writing and I learned more about human energy and focus. Talk about the unawoken. So much have I missed over the years in terms of technique and understanding. Engagement was challenging and rewarding, the engagement rewarding. In short, one of the best I have ever read. Ever. Ever.
 
12