Some favorite articles/videos/conversations/pictures (yes, inclucing ours) from George Saunders’ recent wild ride/rise

Jamie Berger
Mar 5, 2017 · 4 min read
  • Full-disclosure. For me, George Saunders has been at least tied for tops among living writers for a long, long time — but I wouldn’t nearly so closely have been following his, this past month and a half, rather meteoric rise to — what? literary sainthood? He was nearly there already No, it’s something beyond that that feels like a kind of anti-Trump-middle-aged-American-white-man-Dalai-Lama-dom? and the closest thing to real-world fame that any literary short-story writer (any short story writer, period) has approached in . . . my memory, anyway.
    POINT IS, though, as much as I am a fan, if I hadn’t had a conversation with GS for my podcast in late January, I wouldn’t be following as such a sick fanboy, but I would still be deep in the Saundersoralia re him and his great first novel after decades of writing stories. For starters, then, before more recognizable fish, here’s our conversation, from before the mania began, early this year:

But don’t just take our word for it!

Now some of the other stuff I’ve enjoyed the most:

  • This swell article by Andrew Purcell that he worked really hard on but it doesn’t feel workmanlike or anything: http://www.andrewpurcell.net/?p=2626
  • this picture (someone told me where the pic. originated, but I don’t remember — apologies — (we spoke a bit about this time, these dreams of a very different stardom, post-high-school, in our conversation — see that big soundcloud link-y thing above) :
Susan Coyne sketch from the Cambridge reading — GS tried to encourage the shy crowd to step up the the mic. in the Q&A by siting a study that shows that the first person to do so at readings is also the person in the room with the greatest sexual prowess. We all jumped up.

https://twitter.com/JohnSharp99/status/833684458696036352 (and

-
  • At the Cambridge reading, I stood up and asked a question in the Q&A, pretty much about how the success/attention of the last 10 days (which is about what it was at the time) felt. GS answered with this Seussian Trump-era doggeral (what he called it, not me) that has since been reposted as “debut”ing in once city after the next. I like to think the first reading was in response to my question, but it’s not likely. Harvard Bookstore has promised me the audio of the Q&A, but has let to release it to me, alas.
GS, from hisGuardian piece on “what writers do.”
  • Finally, this, today, so well-earned, number-freaking-one on the Times’ Bestseller List — we are living in strange, stange, largely crappy to horrible times. Take pleasure and victories where you can find them — most of everything calls Lincoln in the Bardo SAD but there’s so much funny and silly and incredibly gorgeous in there too:
  • P.S. Also the Grace Paley piece, the Checkhov piece the . . . .

I’ll go back in my cave and keep looking for a few more weeks, so watch the bottom of this doc., it’s likely to grow — Thanks!

15 Minutes: a podcast about fame
http://15minutesjamieberger.com / @15minsjamieb

Jamie Berger

Written by

15 Minutes: a podcast about fame @15minsjamieb http://www.15minutesjamieberger.com/ also writingperson w. a *very* out-of-date site: http://jamiebergerwords.com

Welcome to a place where words matter. On Medium, smart voices and original ideas take center stage - with no ads in sight. Watch
Follow all the topics you care about, and we’ll deliver the best stories for you to your homepage and inbox. Explore
Get unlimited access to the best stories on Medium — and support writers while you’re at it. Just $5/month. Upgrade