George Saunders (“Tenth of December”, “Lincoln in the Bardo”) is one of the finest American writers working today. With the release of his new book, “A Swim in a Pond in the Rain“, we talk about combating cynicism (5:00), the power of Chekhov and Tobias Wolff (8:52), regarding literature as a fondness for life (12:30), a summer of Steinbeck (15:00), deconstructing the (male) mythology of Hemingway (26:45), and how starting a young family changed his life (35:00). On the back-half, we talk craft and process (39:00), his conversations with the late David Foster Wallace (42:15), and his aim to entertain any kind of reader (44:39). To close: he shares an excerpt from his short story, “Love Letter” (49:02), and the need to live urgently (53:43).
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