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    9780593243183 9781984856036 9781984856043 Electronic book text, Reflowable, , EPUB 9780593394021 Downloadable audio file, $29.5 CAD
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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date:Jan 12, 2021 Carton Quantity:12 $37.00 CAD
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A Swim in a Pond in the Rain
In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life
By (author): George Saunders
9781984856029 Hardcover English General Trade LITERARY CRITICISM / Short Stories Jan 12, 2021
$37.00 CAD
Active 6.37 x 9.53 x 1.32 in | 1.48 lb 432 pages 2 ILLUSTRATIONS Random House
From the New York Times bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December, a literary masterclass on what makes great stories work, how to become both a better writer and reader, and what they can tell us about how to live.

In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, George Saunders guides the reader through seven classic Russian short stories he’s been teaching for twenty years as a professor in the prestigious Syracuse University graduate MFA creative writing program. Paired with stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, these essays are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it’s more relevant than ever in these turbulent times.

Saunders approaches each of these stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. For the process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is as much a craft as it is a quality of openness and a willingness to see the world through new eyes.

Funny, frank, and rigorous, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain ultimately shows how great fiction can change a person’s life and become a benchmark of one’s moral and ethical beliefs.

ALL-NEW MATERIAL: Over half the book is all-new, never-before-published writing from Saunders, including a PROLOGUE, EPILOGUE, and WRITING EXERCISES in the back. The remainder is the Russian stories, included here in full.

SEVEN ALL-ORIGINAL ESSAYS, PAIRED WITH CLASSIC SHORT STORIES FROM RUSSIAN MASTERS: “In the Cart” (Chekhov); “The Singers” (Turgenev); “The Darling” (Chekhov); “Master and Man” (Tolstoy); “The Nose” (Gogol); “Gooseberries” (Chekhov); “Alyosha the Pot” (Tolstoy). Translations of the stories appear alongside each of Saunders’s essays.

MAJOR LITERARY EVENT: The closest readers will get to taking a writing class with George Saunders.

OVER HALF OF THE BOOK (roughly 56%) IS ALL NEW, NEVER-BEFORE-PUBLISHED WRITING FROM SAUNDERS, the remaining 44% of the text will be translations of the Russian stories.

HIGHLY ANTICIPATED RELEASE: This is the first new book from Saunders since he won the Booker Prize for Lincoln in the Bardo, which broadened his base of readers and established him as one of our generation’s most important literary voices.

BESTSELLING TRACK RECORD: Saunders has had three New York Times bestsellers in six years: Lincoln in the Bardo (which was a #1 New York Times bestseller, and has sold nearly 600k), Tenth of December (over 400k sold), and Congratulations, by the Way (over 80k sold).

A BELOVED WRITING PROFESSOR: Saunders’s dedication to his writing students at Syracuse University is legendary, and now he’ll be able to impart some of that expertise and passion for the craft to a broader audience.

A video of Saunders, talking about the art—and the mystery—of writing, for The Atlantic: www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-1xNNrABw8

George Saunders is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Man Booker Prize; Congratulations, by the way; Tenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award; The Braindead Megaphone; and the critically acclaimed collections CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

Author Residence: Oneonta, NY

Author Hometown: Chicago, IL; Amarillo, TX

Marketing: Pre-pub buzz building campaign

Online marketing

National advertising campaign

Social media campaign

Targeted email marketing

Preorder campaign

Video content—mini lessons from George

Random House e-newsletters and websites

Prose writing challenge

Academic outreach

Library outreach



Publicity: National media attention

National/local review and feature print attention

National/local radio attention

Online review and feature attention

NPR campaign

Event Programming

Tie-in author lecture schedule

Social Media Campaign

Targeted blogger outreach

Book & author festival outreach



Author Website: www.georgesaundersbooks.com

“Saunders is a gentle giant in American letters whose fiction frequently champions the downtrodden and satirizes a society rife with economic inequality. . . . [A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is] an analysis of classic Russian fiction that doubles as an introductory seminar on the mechanics of short stories—namely, how do they work and why? . . . Why does fiction matter now? The answer, Saunders finds, lies in understanding reading to be a kind of life skill—for understanding our position in the world, for arbitrating truth.”The Wall Street Journal

“This book is a delight, and it’s about delight too. . . . [A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is] very different from just another ‘how to’ creative writing manual, or just another critical essay. . . . One of the pleasures of this book is feeling [Saunders’s] own thinking move backwards and forwards, between the writer dissecting practice and the reader entering in through the spell of the words, to dwell inside the story.”—The Guardian

“Saunders discusses each story’s structure, energy flow, the questions it raises, and how “meaning is made,” embracing both technical finesse and the mysteries at creation’s core. . . . An invaluable and uniquely pleasurable master course and a generous celebration of reading, writing, and all the ways literature enriches our lives.”Booklist (starred review)

“A master of contemporary fiction joyously assesses some of the best of the nineteenth century.”Kirkus Reviews

“[A] true gift to writers and serious readers . . . With infectious enthusiasm and generosity of spirit, Saunders delves into seven stories that he calls the ‘seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world.’ . . . While the genesis of A Swim in a Pond in the Rain can be found in the creative writing classroom—and writers at any level of their careers will glean priceless pearls from nearly every page—the genius of Saunders’s book, and his clear intention in offering it up, is to elucidate literature for the engaged reader, deepening the reading experience. It is also a blueprint for a greater engagement with humanity.”BookPage

“Superb mix of instruction and literary criticism . . . Saunders’s generous teachings—and the classics they’re based on—are sure to please.”Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“The subtitle to this exhilarating and erudite work of non-fiction by the Booker Prize­winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December is: “In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life.” In it, one of the greatest short story writers of our time draws on his own love of Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy and Gogol—and on his joy in teaching them to his MFA students at Syracuse University. The result is a worship song to writers and readers.”O: The Oprah Magazine

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