New York, NY: Random House (2013)
First Edition. Signed.
Fine in dust jacket.
One of the most important and blazingly original writers of his
generation, George Saunders is an undisputed master of the short story,
andTenth of December is his most honest, accessible, and moving collection yet.
In the taut opener, “Victory Lap,” a boy witnesses the attempted
abduction of the girl next door and is faced with a harrowing choice:
Does he ignore what he sees, or override years of smothering advice from
his parents and act? In “Home,” a combat-damaged
soldier moves back in with his mother and struggles to reconcile the
world he left with the one to which he has returned. And in the title
story, a stunning meditation on imagination, memory, and loss, a
middle-aged cancer patient walks into the woods to commit
suicide, only to encounter a troubled young boy who, over the course of
a fateful morning, gives the dying man a final chance to recall who he
really is. A hapless, deluded owner of an antiques store; two mothers
struggling to do the right thing; a teenage
girl whose idealism is challenged by a brutal brush with reality; a man
tormented by a series of pharmaceutical experiments that force him to
lust, to love, to kill—the unforgettable characters that populate the
pages ofTenth of December are vividly
and lovingly infused with Saunders’s signature blend of exuberant prose, deep humanity, and stylistic innovation.
Writing brilliantly and profoundly about class, sex, love, loss, work,
despair, and war, Saunders cuts to the core of the contemporary
experience. These stories take on the big questions and explore the
fault lines of our own morality, delving into the questions
of what makes us good and what makes us human.
Unsettling, insightful, and hilarious, the stories in Tenth of December—through
their manic energy, their focus on what is redeemable in human beings,
and their generosity of spirit—not only entertain and delight; they
fulfill Chekhov’s dictum that art
should “prepare us for tenderness.”