Pastoralia
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Pastoralia

By (author) George Saunders

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'Saunders is an astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic and funny - telling just the kind of stories we need to get us through these times' Thomas Pynchon In PASTORALIA elements of contemporary life are twisted, merged and amplified into a slightly skewed version of modern America. A couple live and work in a caveman theme-park, where speaking is an instantly punishable offence. A born loser attends a self-help seminar where he is encouraged to rid himself of all the people who are 'crapping in your oatmeal'. And a male exotic dancer and his family are terrorised by their decomposing aunt who visits them with a solemn message from beyond the grave. With an uncanny combination of deadpan naturalism and uproarious humour, George Saunders creates a world that is both indelibly original and yet hauntingly familiar

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  • Paperback | 208 pages
  • 129 x 198 x 14mm | 180g
  • 03 Sep 2001
  • Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
  • London
  • English
  • New edition
  • New edition
  • 0747553866
  • 9780747553861
  • 55,919

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Author Information

George Saunders is the author of CIVILWARLAND IN BAD DECLINE, a finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award and a NEW YORK TIMES Notable Book of the year. He teaches Creative Writing at Syracuse University.

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Review quote

'Saunders is an astoundingly tuned voice - graceful, dark, authentic and funny - telling just the kind of stories we need to get us through these times' Thomas Pynchon

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Review text

Sanders is a talented and original humourist working within the short story form and this collection takes some strange but insightful paths through contemporary America. The stories are very entertaining if somewhat low-key. Passion only really shows through in the remarkable 'Sea Oak' where a male exotic dancer supports his family by flashing his penile simulator to hen parties. His long-suffering maiden Aunt resurrects herself to haunt and provoke his family out of the ghetto, demanding to know why some people get everything and some get nothing. Such a dangerous proposition, it takes a disintegrating zombie to utter it. Sander's writing is shot through with sly, ironic humour. Being an American satirist must be difficult given the excesses of the Jerry Springer Show or the Clinton presidency, which demonstrate that in the US reality is ofter far weirder than fiction. Sanders throws up a slightly distorted mirro to show a fantastic but recognisable reflection. (Kirkus UK)

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