R104 | Reading George Saunders: How Does He Do It?


3:30 - 5:00 pm


1/20, 1/27, 2/3, 2/10, 2/17 & 2/24

Six Sessions

This course is offered online via the easy-to-use Zoom program.

“It’s no exaggeration to say that short story master George Saunders helped change the trajectory of American fiction.”The Wall Street Journal

“Saunders captures the fragmented rhythms, disjointed sensory input, and wildly absurd realities of the twenty-first century experience like no other writer.”The Boston Globe

“Noone writes more powerfully than George Saunders about the lost, the unlucky, the disenfranchised.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

George Saunders is the award-winning author of eleven books, including the bestselling Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the 2017 Man Booker Prize for best work of fiction in English. His stories have appeared regularly in The New Yorker since 1992, and he has won both MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships. We will be reading a different George Saunders short story each week and try our own hand at writing like Saunders, studying and then using one or more of his techniques. For instance, in the first short story in Tenth of December, "Victory Lap" (which you should read in preparation for the first class), there are many possibilities: how to show the interactions with the girl next door, how to demonstrate the mutual expectations of father and son, how to end the story. We will even take note of Saunders’ use of cuss words, and how he employs them to denote character. Though a light-hearted reading, we will learn some sound literary precepts, and even have an opportunity to practice them.

Recommended Reading: Tenth of December, George Saunders. [Random House, 2014] 

Linda E. Neville received her Masters of Education at Penn State University.  She is currently working as a Teaching Assistant at Clarksburg Elementary School, and is a former English Language Arts Instructor and Co-coordinator of Distance Learning at the Northern Berkshire Adult Education Program/MCLA in North Adams, Mass. Before becoming a teacher she worked in the family business, Neville's Donut Shop, with her husband, children and grandchildren while attending MCLA.  After graduating, she taught English and Humanities as a public school teacher. Having a lifelong interest in local history, she continues her research on the book: The North Adams Hawthorne--Summer of 1838.


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