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THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

PICKED BY THE SUNDAY TIMES, GUARDIAN, INDEPENDENT, IRISH TIMES, SPECTATOR, TLS, NEW STATESMAN, MAIL ON SUNDAY, I PAPER, PROSPECT, REVEW31 AND EVENING STANDARD AS A BOOK OF 2021

'A masterclass from a warm and engagingly enthusiastic companion' Guardian Summer Reading Picks 2021

'This book is a delight, and it's about delight too. How necessary, at our particular moment' Tessa Hadley
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From the New York Times-bestselling, Booker Prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo and Tenth of December comes a literary master class on what makes great stories work and what they can tell us about ourselves - and our world today.

For the last twenty years, George Saunders has been teaching a class on the Russian short story to his MFA students at Syracuse University. In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, he shares a version of that class with us, offering some of what he and his students have discovered together over the years. Paired with iconic short stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, the seven essays in this book are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it's more relevant than ever in these turbulent times.

In his introduction, Saunders writes, "We're going to enter seven fastidiously constructed scale models of the world, made for a specific purpose that our time maybe doesn't fully endorse but that these writers accepted implicitly as the aim of art-namely, to ask the big questions, questions like, How are we supposed to be living down here? What were we put here to accomplish? What should we value? What is truth, anyway, and how might we recognize it?" He approaches the stories technically yet accessibly, and through them explains how narrative functions; why we stay immersed in a story and why we resist it; and the bedrock virtues a writer must foster. The process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is a technical craft, but also a way of training oneself to see the world with new openness and curiosity.

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain is a deep exploration not just of how great writing works but of how the mind itself works while reading, and of how the reading and writing of stories make genuine connection possible.

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  • We started tracking this book on January 26, 2021.
  • This book was £7.97 when we started tracking it.
  • The price of this book has changed 15 times in the past 1,212 days.
  • The current price of this book is £5.89 last checked 13 hours ago.
  • This lowest price this book has been offered at in the past year is £2.59.
  • The lowest price to date was £1.69 last reached on June 4, 2021.
  • This book has been £1.69 one time since we started tracking it.
  • The highest price to date was £8.59 last reached on July 4, 2021.
  • This book has been £8.59 2 times since we started tracking it.

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  • Text-to-Speech: Disabled
  • Lending: Disabled
  • Print Length: 433 Pages
  • File Size: 7,235 KB

We last verified the price of this book about 13 hours ago. At that time, the price was £5.89. This price is subject to change. The price displayed on the Amazon.co.uk website at the time of purchase is the price you will pay for this book. Please confirm the price before making any purchases.