American writer George Saunders is one of the world’s most surreal – and most empathic – eyewitnesses to modern life. But quixotic? Not so much. In his writing, he’s generous with his subjects: offering them dignity where consumerism and politics deny it. It’s absurd and heart-wrenching stuff; often farcical, with echoes of despair.
Best known until now for his short story collections (Tenth of December, Pastoralia) and collected essays (The Braindead Megaphone), Saunders has also written novellas, children’s books, and now, a novel – or something close to it, anyway. Lincoln in the Bardo defies comparison. Born from a kernel of history (Abraham Lincoln’s mourning for his dead son), the book hurls a giddy net of voices into the twilight between life and death, ruminating on love that – like all love – must end.
Having moved from field geophysicist to doorman, roofer and slaughterhouse worker before arriving at writing, Saunders himself is as shape-shifting as his writing. For the first time in Australia, come and hear him talk about his hyper-real prose and the radical tenderness that drives it.
George Saunders is the author of nine books, including Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award and won the inaugural Folio Prize (for the best work of fiction in English) and the Story Prize (best short-story collection). He has received MacArthur and Guggenheim fellows... Read more
Don Watson’s bestselling titles include Recollections of a Bleeding Heart: Paul Keating Prime Minister, Death Sentence and The Bush, which won the Indie Book of the Year and the NSW Premier’s Literary Award. An acclaimed speechwriter and screenwriter, he is also beloved for his colum... Read more
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