A Swim in a Pond in the Rain (Hardback)
  • A Swim in a Pond in the Rain (Hardback)
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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain (Hardback)

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Hardback 432 Pages / Published: 12/01/2021
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Waterstones Says

Opening up the classics of Russian literature to a wider audience, Saunders provides commentary on seven classic short stories from the likes of Chekhov and Tolstoy, and provides astute observations on how fiction functions.

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 live.

In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, George Saunders guides the reader through seven classic Russian short stories he's been teaching for twenty years as a professor in the prestigious Syracuse University graduate MFA creative writing program.

Paired with stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, these essays are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it's more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. Saunders approaches each of these 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.

For the process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is as much a craft as it is a quality of openness and a willingness to see the world through new eyes. Funny, frank, and rigorous, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain ultimately shows how great fiction can change a person's life and become a benchmark of one's moral and ethical beliefs.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526624284
Number of pages: 432
Weight: 569 g
Dimensions: 216 x 135 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
A 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 story -- Tessa Hadley * Guardian *
By 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 alert * The Times *
Suffused with wry humour ... Not an academic interpretation, but a reader's companion. I was pleasurably absorbed from start to finish * Evening Standard *
The Booker-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo considers the art of fiction through seven classic Russian short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Gogol * Guardian, 2021 in Books *
The 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 functions * Independent, The books to look out for in 2021 *
A literary masterclass * Evening Standard, A look ahead to the best new books in 2021 *
Part intro to Russian literature, part musings on craft, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is all pleasure * Financial Times *
His 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 study * Arts Desk *
Praise for George Saunders: A morally passionate, serious writer ... He will be read long after these times have passed -- ZADIE SMITH
George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time -- KHALED HOSSEINI
What warm, kindhearted and radical writing. Such delicacy, such serious wit. I love it -- MAX PORTER
Reading George Saunders is, it's safe to say, like no other literary experience * OBSERVER *
He makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him -- JONATHAN FRANZEN
No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised -- MICHIKO KAKUTANI * NEW YORK TIMES *
Few people cut as hard or deep as Saunders does -- JUNOT DIAZ
A luminous feat of generosity and humanism -- COLSON WHITEHEAD * NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW *
Saunders is a true original - restlessly inventive, yet deeply humane -- JENNIFER EGAN
Surreal and puncturing -- MARGARET ATWOOD
Funny, poignant - in flashes, deeply moving - light as a feather and consistently weird -- HARI KUNZRU

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