George Saunders is the author of the story collections Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, both of which were New York Times Notable Books, and a children’s book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, a New York Times Bestseller. He teaches at Syracuse University.

Visit the official George Saunders website at


CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

“An astoundingly tuned voice—graceful, dark, authentic, and funny—telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times.”
–Thomas Pynchon

“Like the illegitimate offspring of Nathanael West and Kurt Vonnegut…Mr. Saunders’s satiric vision of America is dark and demented; it is also ferocious and very funny.”
–Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times

“Ingenious…full of savage humor and originality [and] scorching brilliance…the author creates a nightmarish post-apocalyptic world that might have been envisioned by Walt Disney on acid.”
–The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Scary, hilarious, and unforgettable…George Saunders is a writer of arresting brilliance and originality.”
–Tobias Wolff

“A demonstrably cool satirist and a wicked stylist.”
–Jay McInerney, The New York Times Book Review

“The book is a rare event: a brilliant new satirist bursting out of the gate in full stride, wildly funny, pure, generous—all that a great humorist should be.”
–Garrison Keillor

“An original, darkly funny voice.”
–The Atlanta Constitution

“Wickedly funny.”
–The Miami Herald


One of Entertainment Weekly’s Ten Best Fiction Books of 2000

“Wickedly entertaining…Pastoralia is a Dilbert cartoon inked by Samuel Beckett.”
–San Francisco Chronicle

“Demands to be reread immediately.”
–The Wall Street Journal

“Artful and sophisticated…truly unusual. Imagine Lewis’s Babbitt thrown into the backseat of a car going cross-country, driven by R. Crumb, Matt Groening, Lynda Barry, Harvey Pekar or Spike Jonze. That’d be a story Saunders could tell.”
–The New York Times

“Screamingly funny.”

“The bold successor to Thomas Pynchon and Kurt Vonnegut.”

“Saunders is a provocateur, a moralist, a zealot, a lefty, and a funny, funny writer, and the stories in Pastoralia delight. We’re very lucky to have them.”

“Breathtaking, brutally hilarious satire, a savage skewering not only of the American workplace, but of the American character itself…Pastoralia is a masterpiece of unsettling comedy.”
–The San Diego Union-Tribune

–TimeOut New York

“Saunders’s prose is like a drug candy, compulsively swallowed, sweetly addictive... anarchic and startling.”
— San Francisco Bay Guardian

“Savage, soulful satires…[Saunders is] a master of distilling the disorder of our time into fiction.”

“The short-story collection of the year…Pastoralia does everything a gathering of tales is supposed to do: It touches the reader but also provoke reflection, mirth, and pain.”
–Kansas City Star

“Dazzling…Saunders’s misfits confront their degradations with heroic optimism; rarely have the comic nuances of suffering been tracked with such precision. These stories, injected with Saunders’s highly original blend of irony and tenderness, ride you down spirals of the absurd and fling you back to your own life, startled.”
–Men’s Journal

“Fiercely funny…[Saunders is] a searing satirist with a peculiar sensibility that allows him to wreak havoc on a cheesy American landscape that is often uproariously implausible yet sickeningly familiar…A striking collection.”
–The Boston Globe

“Bizarre and original stories…freakish and lovely. It [looks] as if Saunders had forged a one-man genre; call it Theme Park Surrealism.”
–LA Weekly

“Hilarious and heartrending in equal measures…Saunders is a brilliant distortionist who devises dark, hallucinatory arenas and sets fierce satires against countercurrents of grotesque sentimentality.”
–The Village Voice

–U.S. News & World Report

“Finely tuned, mordantly funny, and original.”
–The Atlantic Monthly