Tenth of December
George Saunders writes stories about regular people who aspire to be better. Better fathers, better husbands, better achievers. They almost never succeed. Their heartbreak, their delusions — this is the crux of Saunders’ work, and although his stories are laugh-out-loud funny, they’re never cruel. He writes about America — about us — with unwavering compassion. Yet “Tenth of December,” his latest collection, subtly critiques the value system that sends most of us scurrying after nothing, a society in which curating one’s plummeting self-esteem is a full-time job. Not only is Saunders a dazzling writer with spectacular tone control, he’s a true original who “sounds” like no one else. He is blessed, and so are we readers.