Posts Tagged: George Saunders

The Letter

William Shawn began work at The New Yorker in 1933, was appointed managing editor in 1939 and, quite shortly after the death of founding editor Harold Ross, became the magazine's editor in 1951.

In 1985, 34 years later, Shawn was still the editor, but Peter Fleischmann, the son of founding partner Raoul Fleischmann, owned only 25% of shares in The New Yorker. Paine Webber owned the next largest share, and the Newhouse family's Advance Publications already owned around 17% of the publication. Advance wanted, and got, the rest, for a price something like 20 times current revenues, according to the Times.

The employees, however, were not happy [...]


Everyone Loves George Saunders

Did you read about the best book of the year this weekend? Perhaps you would like to familiarize yourself with its style sheet, which includes the proper punctuation for "pre-boner."


Google On The L Train: Sci-fi, Wifi And The MTA

Second in a pair of essays today on freedom and the Internet. Previously: What are the politics of the Internet?

Last week, gracious youngsters from Google, Inc. were stationed below 14th Street, handing cards to commuters. The cards confirmed that those wireless signal bars appearing on certain subway platforms weren’t phishing expeditions by identity thieves or digital phantoms. Rather, they were the fruit borne of a partnership between Google and a wireless Internet provider named Boingo. Log in to their hotspot and get a summer of free Wi-Fi access all over New York City. In return, Google gets to hoard the information they generate, assembling an accurate picture of [...]


The Short Stories Of George Saunders So Far, In Order

35. "The Semplica Girl Diaries"

34. "Puppy"

33. "My Amendment"

32. "I CAN SPEAK™"

31. "Al Roosten"

30. "93990"

29. "The Barber's Unhappiness"

28. "Bohemians"

27. "Pastoralia"

26. "Tenth of December"

25. "Winky"

24. "The Falls"


The Great, Forgotten Sci-Fi Novel About The End Of The World

David Roth: So, tell me again, please, how you found this novel, The Last Western? I know how I found it, which was by you giving me a copy and telling me it was important that I read it.

David Roth: It was like Natalie Portman's "The Shins will change your life" moment in Garden State, except you are shorter, smarter and less pointy than she is, and I am marginally less grumbly-sad than Zach Braff, and you were right and also The Shins couldn't conceivably really change anyone's life.

Maria Bustillos: A guy named Mark Harris went all crazy over it on this listserv I was on back [...]


The Rise and Fall and Further Fall of Dubai

"Dubai raises the questions raised by any apparent utopia: What's the downside?" That's from George Saunders' great 2006 essay The New Mecca. Now, even as the shiny new tallest-building-on-the-planet staffs up, this slideshow, from Fast Company, at last delivers an answer.


Real As Hell: A Conversation With George Saunders

While interviewing author George Saunders last week on the release of the audiobook of his new story collection, Tenth of December, my Skype connection cut out maybe four times. Such a miserable and embarrassing development on so many levels—maybe the worst being that Saunders is one of the best talkers I've ever met, and in the middle of this incredible riff his voice would just float and burble off, culminating in that awful, plopping Skype disconnection sound. Indescribable, like getting a long letter from Oscar Wilde and someone sets fire to it as you're reading, or you've just been poured a delectable glass of Château d'Yquem and suddenly there [...]


The Joys Of The George Saunders Style Sheet

Tenth Of December, George Saunders' first collection of stories in six years, comes out January 8, 2013—if you missed it in The New Yorker, you can read the title story here. Below is the style sheet used in-house by the book's editors and production team. In the lists of preferred spellings for words and names (Death (personified), de-elfify, doinking) and other guidelines comes a reminder of what makes Saunders so much fun to read. Remember: Hyphenate compounds made up of nouns of equal value: "elf-baby" (97).


Not Everyone Enjoys Sacha Baron Cohen's Guerilla Comedy

Are you Bruno'd out yet? Me too, and I haven't seen the movie. But reading our review yesterday reminded me of this excellent George Saunders piece from 2006; it captures everything that I find uncomfortable and distasteful about Baron Cohen's unscripted comedy so well that I recall the feeling of jealousy I had when I read it the first time. It's really good.