Discover the books that made our 2022 list.
George Saunders makes a triumphant return to the short story form in Liberation Day. These nine stories revisit the quirky language of his early collections, and in them Saunders continues to find ways to uncover emotionally resonant moments in extremely unusual situations. Recommended By Adam P., Powells.com
Synopses & Reviews
MacArthur genius and Booker Prize winner George Saunders returns with a collection of short stories that make sense of our increasingly troubled world, his first since the New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist Tenth of December
The "best short story writer in English" (Time) is back with a masterful collection that explores ideas of power, ethics, and justice, and cuts to the very heart of what it means to live in community with our fellow humans. With his trademark prose — wickedly funny, unsentimental, and perfectly tuned — Saunders continues to challenge and surprise: here is a collection of prismatic, deeply resonant stories that encompass joy and despair, oppression and revolution, bizarre fantasy and brutal reality.
"Love Letter" is a tender missive from grandfather to grandson, in the midst of a dystopian political situation in the not-too-distant future, that reminds us of our obligations to our ideals, ourselves, and each other. "Ghoul" is set in a Hell-themed section of an underground amusement park in Colorado, and follows the exploits of a lonely, morally complex character named Brian, who comes to question everything he takes for granted about his "reality." In "Mother's Day," two women who loved the same man come to an existential reckoning in the middle of a hailstorm. And in "Elliott Spencer," our eighty-nine-year-old protagonist finds himself brainwashed — his memory "scraped" — a victim of a scheme in which poor, vulnerable people are reprogrammed and deployed as political protesters.
Together, these nine subversive, profound, and essential stories coalesce into a case for viewing the world with the same generosity and clear-eyed attention as Saunders does, even in the most absurd of circumstances.
"One of the most gifted, wickedly entertaining story writers around." — New York Times Book Review
"A true artist charting hidden creative territory." — Colson Whitehead, The New York Times
"No one writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised." — Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
About the Author
George Saunders is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of eleven books, including A Swim in a Pond in the Rain; Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Booker Prize; Congratulations, by the way; Tenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award; The Braindead Megaphone; and the critically acclaimed collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.