Episode 100 — George Saunders


George Saunders is today’s guest.  He’s the bestselling author of several books, including CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and The Braindead Megaphone, and his brand new story collection, Tenth of December, is due out from Random House in January 2013.

Thomas Pynchon calls him

An astoundingly tuned voice—graceful, dark, authentic, and funny—telling just the kinds of stories we need to get us through these times.

It’s a great thrill to have George on the program for this, the 100th episode of the podcast.

Heartfelt thanks to everyone for listening over the course of this first year.  Can’t tell you how much I appreciate the kind support.

Topics of conversation include:  Chicago, population density, Winesburg Ohio, Visions of Gerard, sports, Amarillo, Steve Martin, engineering, Colorado School of Mines, Ayn Rand, Sumatra, oil, Atlas Shrugged, drinking, control, Kahlil Gibran, struggle, capitalism, Marxism, Jack Kerouac, Singapore, Bruce Springsteen, hitchhiking, Syracuse, graduate school, realism, Ernest Hemingway, fallow periods, absurdist tendencies, writing at work, John Steinbeck, being under-read, guilt, Catholicism, Susan Sontag, Jane Austen, happiness, energy, hopefulness, discipline, Stuart Dybek, The New Yorker, David Letterman, Jessica Alba, slaughterhouses, Terry Eagleton, performance, spontaneity, postmodernism, GQ, Marfa, MacArthur Genius Grant, Buddha Boy, nonfiction vs. fiction, the physical world, assuming common intelligence, and starting a band.

Monologue topics:  Episode 100, connecting at the level of consciousness, assuaging human loneliness, Howard Stern, Terry Gross, Marc Maron, Ira Glass.