In his latest collection, Tenth of December (Random House), George Saunders pulls back on some of the outlandishness of his earlier stories, though not on his idiosyncratic approach to telling them, which combines the stylized fun-making of employing a debased American sociolect (rife with cliché, slogans and corporate double-speak) and Saunders’ greatest gift as a storyteller, namely his seemingly limitless capacity for empathy. What’s left is a collection of stories that begin as funny, weird little baubles only to unfold into deeply-moving narratives about its characters’ flailing imperfect attempts at happiness, humanity and redemption. In the best of these stories—”Tenth of December” (available for free at The New Yorker) and “Victory Lap”, which both feature awkward young boys suddenly faced with the impossible need for heroic action—Saunders will make you laugh and weep, sometimes all at once.
About the Author: Gregory Brown
Gregory Brown, Reviews Editor, hails from Vancouver Island, in beautiful British Columbia. He is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Greensboro MFA program for Fiction and Memorial University of Newfoundland's Master of Arts program in English Literature. He is the recipient of the Roy Daniels Memorial Essay Prize and his fiction and criticism have appeared in Postcript and Paragon.