Publication Date: 10/10/2023 ISBN: 9781526624994 Category:

Liberation Day

George Saunders

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
Publication Date: 10/10/2023 ISBN: 9781526624994 Category:
Paperback / Softback


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‘One of the best science fiction short stories to be published in the 21st century so far’ SFX Review
‘Saunders is funny and kind as ever, and his narrative virtuosity puts him up there with the best’ Anne Enright, Guardian
‘A triumph of storytelling’ i paper
‘A joy. ‘Effortlessly stylish, funny and smart’ Daily Mail

The first short story collection in ten years from the Man Booker Prize-winning, New York Times-bestselling author of Lincoln in the Bardo

MacArthur genius and Booker Prize-winner George Saunders returns with a collection of short stories that make sense of our increasingly troubled world, his first since the New York Times bestseller and National Book Award finalist Tenth of December

The ‘best short story writer in English’ (Time) is back with a masterful collection that explores ideas of power, ethics, and justice, and cuts to the very heart of what it means to live in community with our fellow humans. With his trademark prose – wickedly funny, unsentimental, and perfectly tuned – Saunders continues to challenge and surprise: here is a collection of prismatic, deeply resonant stories that encompass joy and despair, oppression and revolution, bizarre fantasy and brutal reality.

‘Love Letter’ is a tender missive from grandfather to grandson, in the midst of a dystopian political situation in the not-too-distant future, that reminds us of our obligations to our ideals, ourselves, and each other. ‘Ghoul’ is set in a Hell-themed section of an underground amusement park in Colorado, and follows the exploits of a lonely, morally complex character named Brian, who comes to question everything he takes for granted about his ‘reality.’ In ‘Mother’s Day’, two women who loved the same man come to an existential reckoning in the middle of a hailstorm. And in ‘Elliott Spencer’, our eighty-nine-year-old protagonist finds himself brainwashed – his memory ‘scraped’ – a victim of a scheme in which poor, vulnerable people are reprogrammed and deployed as political protesters.

Together, these nine subversive, profound, and essential stories coalesce into a case for viewing the world with the same generosity and clear-eyed attention as Saunders does, even in the most absurd of circumstances.


‘The only way to experience Saunders’s oblique, farcical, tragic world is to dive right in. It will take the top of your head off, but it’s worth it’ The Times
‘The world’s best short story writer … Liberation Day is great art’ Daily Telegraph

Publisher Review

The world's best short story writer ... Liberation Day is great art * DAILY TELEGRAPH * This is the joy of Saunders: he encapsulates human experience, while always hitting the punchline * FINANCIAL TIMES * Saunders is funny and kind as ever, and his narrative virtuosity puts him up there with the best -- ANNE ENRIGHT * GUARDIAN * The Alan Bennett of small-town America ... These stories are not only perfectly pitched; they come with enough comedy to have you grinning and enough empathy to suddenly stop you in your tracks * OBSERVER * A joy. Effortlessly stylish, funny and smart, they come spangled with sadness and a melancholic malaise as Saunders casts an eye over a country teetering towards wreckage * DAILY MAIL * A triumph of storytelling * I PAPER * The Tom Hanks of American letters ... A master of the short story ... His art speaks to the dreadful present; his open-handed style, his skill as an educator, offer hope by encouraging each individual voice to find courage to speak * NEW STATESMAN * A writer known as much for his formal inventiveness as the sharpness of his satirical wit * INDEPENDENT.CO.UK * A compelling satire of modern America * PROSPECT * In describing the stories, even quoting them, we lose something valuable. That in itself is a measure of great writing. The only way to experience Saunders's oblique, farcical, tragic world is to dive right in. It will take the top of your head off, but it's worth it * THE TIMES * George Saunders is that rare contemporary author who is as original as he is beloved ... Readers can be assured that all the hallmarks of Saunders' writing that electrified them from the beginning are present in his new collection, Liberation Day: bold original humor, the blurred view of American life, and the sweet humanity that pierces through it all * TIME * Virtuosic ... The nine stories in Liberation Day are by turn exhilarating, sad, mind-bendingly bizarre and wickedly funny ... Perfect * SUNDAY TIMES * Leaves you in awe of his craft * FOYLES * The titan of the modern story returns with a collection of wickedly funny, perceptive and subversive miniatures * WATERSTONES * An exquisite work from a writer whose reach is galactic * OPRAH QUARTERLY * Masterful * I PAPER * Triumphant * BUZZ MAGAZINE * So good it makes you wonder why anyone else bothers * VOGUE * Saunders' words smell like Hunter S. Thompson, Stephen King, Raymond Carver and David Lynch sharing a spliff in Joni Mitchell's parking lot * THE WORD FACTORY * A morally passionate, serious writer ... He will be read long after these times have passed -- ZADIE SMITH Saunders has revealed himself to be nothing less than an American Gogol: funny, pointed, full of nuance, and always writing with a moral heart. This, his first book of short fiction in nearly a decade, only cements the validity of such a point of view. The nine pieces here are smart and funny, speculative yet at the same time written on a human scale, narratives full of love and loss and longing and the necessity of trying to connect ... A tour de force collection that showcases all of Saunders' many skills * KIRKUS * George Saunders makes you feel as though you are reading fiction for the first time -- KHALED HOSSEINI What warm, kindhearted and radical writing. Such delicacy, such serious wit. I love it -- MAX PORTER He makes the all-but-impossible look effortless. We're lucky to have him -- JONATHAN FRANZEN A luminous feat of generosity and humanism -- COLSON WHITEHEAD Saunders is a true original - restlessly inventive, yet deeply humane -- JENNIFER EGAN Funny, poignant - in flashes, deeply moving - light as a feather and consistently weird -- HARI KUNZRU

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