A native of Amarillo, Texas, where he was born in 1958, George Saunders was named by "The New Yorker" as one of the "Twenty writers for the twenty-first century' and was awarded the 2013 Pen/Malamud Award for his remarkable short stories. His degree in Geophysical Engineering led him to work on oil rigs for years and to undertake the most diverse jobs. He completed a Masters in Creative Writing at Syracuse University in 1988, but the author attributes the original style of his fiction to working in the petrochemical industry, comparing himself to «a welder who designs clothes». He released "CivilWarLand in bad decline" in 1992, a collection which led to his regular contributions to "The New Yorker", as well as the publication of the novella "Offloading for Mrs. Swhartz". His stories are heralded as revelations: Thomas Pynchon noted his «astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic, and funny», and further praise has come from the likes of Jonathan Franzen, Zadie Smith and Khaled Hosseini. Worldwide confirmation came with the release of "Tenth of December", in which unlikely situations are alternated with the harsh reality of families forced to face the tragic wrinkles of life. He released "Lincoln in the Bardo" in 2017, «a mesmerising, Dantesque novel, as intense as a ballad» ("Publisher Weekly"), which observes the greatest sorrow of a man (and president) who has become a myth of American history.
(photo: © Basso Cannarsa)