Summer Reading B2G1 Free

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores

Powell's Q&A

George Saunders

Birthplace: Amarillo, Texas
Birth Sign: Feces (hahaha). No really: Sagittarius
Publisher: Riverhead

  1. In Persuasion Nation: Stories
    $11.50 Used Hardcover add to wishlist
    "Saunders is a hilarious, wicked, and pitch-perfect satirist of our times, of course, but for a satirist he has a whole lot of heart." Anna Godbersen, Esquire
  2. The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil
    $7.50 Used Trade Paper add to wishlist
    "[A]n absurdist wit as playful as Monty Python's and a vision as dark as Samuel Beckett's....Tightly packed with detail, dialogue and black humor..." Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
  3. Pastoralia
    $7.98 Sale Trade Paper add to wishlist


    George Saunders
    "Artful and sophisticated...truly unusual. Imagine Lewis's Babbitt thrown into the back seat of a car going cross-country, driven by R. Crumb, Matt Groening, Lynda Barry, Harvey Pekar, or Spike Jonze. That'd be a story Saunders could tell." New York Times

Favorite Song: George, You Are Really the Coolest (Jimi Hendrix, 1968)

Favorite Movie: George and Jimi: Monterey Meltdown A Go-Go!!

Most Embarrassing Moment: The Last Two Questions

Favorite Food: Pizza from Traverso's, Orland Park, Illinois

Favorite Exercise: Getting up to stumble leadenly away from the table at Traverso's.

Special Power: Gradually wasting all my once special powers and gradually fading away to a shadow of my former self, then going to Traverso's.

Secret to your success? I appear very pitiful to people in power, who nurture me from a sense of nostalgia for the days when they themselves were pitiful.

Best vacation: With my wife and kids in Block Island, RI.

Favorite relaxant: Listening to Congressional disclaimers at extremely slow speed.

Superstitions: 1) I never swim naked in piranha-infested streams; and, 2) I never sever my penis with a knife, even if I'm really really angry.

Favorite color: I like them all. Except ochre. Freaking ochre. Ochre makes me want to... sever my... oh, I really hate ochre.

Personal motto: I have two: 1) Never answer questionnaires which force you to respond in pithy one-liners; AND, 2) Don't forget, don't ever forget, please, for God's sake, your superstition about the penis severing!

Favorite President: President Barak Obama.

Favorite Hiding Place: Right out in the open.

Shoes, sandals, or barefoot? Usually one of each, to give me that casual "limp" all the girls love.

Favorite animal: A large grizzly, stuffed with $100 bills.

Favorite time of year: Autumn in Central New York.

Ships, planes, trains, or automobiles? No, I am a Luddite, and also a radical Catholic, so only travel by crawling on my belly while mumbling an incantation of the many ways I am unworthy. Time-consuming, sure, but worth it.

Favorite performer: Teddy "SlushMouth" Cannipan, the harmonica scourge of South Bend, IN. Just don't sit in the front row!

Favorite city: New York, then Chicago. No, Chicago, then New York. Oh, heck, I love them both. Also I like Syracuse. And Dubai. Los Angeles is cool, too. Jeez, I can't decide.

Morning person or night person? I'll take one of each. Feel free to make the night person slightly less attractive, since it will be dark.

Your middle name: William.

When you were seven, what did you want to be when you grew up? Shortstop for the Chicago White Sox who was a surgeon in the off-season and was dating the actress Bridget Hanley, who would come to all my games and all my surgeries, amazed by my coolheadedness.

WiFi or HiFi? I must be NoFi because I don't really understand the question.

God or Mammon? Come on, is that a trick question? Who is this really?

Red or White? I believe both colors are necessary. For example, to make Pink.

Right or left-handed? I am right-handed, except when I am suddenly exposed to something ochre, at which time, with my left hand, I cast about madly, looking for my severing knife. spacer

  • back to top


Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at