Better Living Through Fiction

September 19th, 2005 · No Comments
by Booksquare

The husband adds new fiction to his reading repertoire rarely. Life is too short to turn down the pleasures of yet another lengthy work on recursive scripts. However, when a new author joins the husband’s team, he’s a member for life. Thus, we are bit excited about the new George Saunders book around here (The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil). There will be, of course, the usual tug-of-war over who gets the book first* before we get into the real question of the day: is George Saunders the most popular unknown author in the United States today?

While we wait of have this discussion, we will entertain ourself with Robert Birnbaum’s interview with Saunders. In addition to discovering a mutual affinity for the wonderful Johnny Tremain, the two discuss the writing and the discovery of self:

Now it feels much more like you don’t know who you are until you have worked—and it’s not even—it happens for me over a course of months. You finish something and then you go—and even then it’s not the intellectual part, it’s the visceral part. You have made this thing. Like I just had this “CommComm” story in The New Yorker; through the long process of working on that, I figured out something about how I want to proceed with my life from here. Just a small, I couldn’t express it, a small thing. I kind of knew it before but having written the story there is no looking back. So the process of having the subconscious purify that—

* – He will win by default as he will have purchased the book.

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