A SWIM IN A POND IN THE RAIN: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life
“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’] 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
About A SWIM IN A POND IN THE RAIN
Saunders has taught in the prestigious Syracuse University MFA program in creative writing for over twenty years, and for most of those years, has taught a class where he and his students have dissected classic short stories to “see what they can steal” and to understand the physics of the form. In this new book, the New York Times bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December welcomes all of us — readers, writers, readers who want to be writers, writers who know they need to be better readers to be better writers — into his classroom.
Paired with some of Saunders’ favorite stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, these brand-new, wholly original essays are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why fiction is 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. A SWIM IN A POND IN THE RAIN allows the reader to soak up great writing, but even more so, it teaches the reader to recognize the feelings a story evokes, and then deconstructs the techniques that conjured those feelings.
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.