CivilWarLand in Bad Declineby George Saunders
Six short stories and a novella. Set in a dystopian near-future in which America has become little more than a theme park in terminal disrepair, they constitute a searching and bitterly humorous commentary on the current state of the American Dream.
Funny, sad, bleak, weird, toxic - the future of America as the Free Market runs rampant,the environment skids into disarray, and civilization dissolves into surreal chaos. These wacky, brilliant, hilarious and entirely original stories cue us in on George Saunder's skewed vision of the legacy we are creating. Against the backdrop of our devolvement, our own worst tendencies and greatest virtues are weirdly illuminated.
"CivilWarLand in Bad Decline" (Kenyon Review, 1992)
"Isabelle" (Indiana Review, 1994; reprinted in Harper's, 1994)
"The Wavemaker Falters" (Witness, 1993)
"The 400-Pound CEO" (Harper's, 1993)
"Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz" (The New Yorker, 1992)
"Downtrodden Mary's Failed Campaign of Terror" (Quarterly West, 1992)
"Bounty" (Harper's, 1995)
Details updated August 26, 2021
George Saunders is the author of nine books, including Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award, and won the inaugural Folio Prize (for the best work of fiction in English) and the Story Prize (best short story collection). He has received MacArthur and Guggenheim Fellowships, the PEN/Malamud Prize for excellence in the short story, and was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2013, he was named one of the world’s 100 most influential people by Time magazine. He teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University.
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