Chosen as an exemplary work in critical review by The Washington Independent Review of Books and Politics & Prose Bookstore in Washington D.C., our editor in chief, Rae Bryant and her review of George Saunders’ recently released collection, Tenth of December (Random House), will be promoted at Politics & Prose Bookstore, both their brick and mortar location and website. Congratulations to our editor in chief for her exemplary critical work and recognition, and thank you to The Independent and P&P for their recognition.
George Saunders is an undisputed genius in cutting eloquent slices of dark, odd, familiar, and too familiar. And here he goes again with more breadth than most writers would attempt in one collection. Humor and satire infuse dysfunctional families, dysfunctional sex, unsuspected heroism, realism and near-future settings. Be warned. The afternoon is lost, because once picked up, Tenth of December sticks. From realism to SF, minimalism to medieval-speak, the book yields an ugly-beautiful freak show. Come one, come all. Full review originally published at The Independent
George Saunders is an undisputed genius in cutting eloquent slices of dark, odd, familiar and too familiar. He is unapologetic about it. Imagine a Civil War general with bayonet, slicing the family turkey on Thanksgiving. Tossing out chunks of meat, a liver, a kidney. Saunders gnawing on the gizzard, laughing and spitting chunks of flesh at everyone. And everyone liking it. This is Saunders. And here he goes again with more breadth than most writers would attempt in one collection.
In Tenth of December, humor and satire infuse dysfunctional families, dysfunctional sex, unsuspected heroism, realism and near future settings in 10 short stories from short-short length to full length. With laughter, frequent shudders and always an accessible rigor that fellow writers have come to love and expect in Saunders’ work, this collection — mostly realism — does not disappoint. For the most part.
“Daddy Love pushes us to confront what lurks behind the front door.”
Robbie Whitcomb falls prey to serial abductor, rapist, and killer named Daddy Love, a self-proclaimed traveling minister who nearly kills Robbie’s mother in the getaway, disfiguring her for life.
For six years, Robbie undergoes torture, sexual abuse, brainwashing, and conditioning until he accepts his abductor as family and turns to nefarious coping in result of his suffering. While his mother and father hope for his return Robbie forgets they exist.
In her familiar, unflinching style, Joyce Carol Oates’s Daddy Love pulls back the veil, delving into the wounds of a family ripped apart by a monster antagonist. Daddy Love is a near hopeless landscape and primer for how mental illness and criminal intention might grow within even the most innocent and promising. Read more at New York Journal of Books.