From the title story, excerpted in...
“Writing short stories is very hard work.” That, at any rate, is what George Saunders had to say on the subject some years ago, in an essay about the postmodern master Donald Barthelme, and lest anyone raise a skeptical eyebrow — since by then Saunders had already proved himself to be one of the most gifted, wickedly entertaining story writers around — he continued to wring his hands, revealingly, a few pages later: “The land of the short story,” he fretted, “is a brutal land, a land very similar, in its strictness, to the land of the joke.”
By GREGORY COWLES
Published: February 1, 2013
I always enjoy short stories, and George Saunders' are supremely well-written and quirky. I found the opener--Victory Lap--to be poignant, introspective, and realistic. Stories layered into, around, and beneath the tale. I wonder about these kids' futures...
Why was it, she sometimes wondered, that in dreams we can't do the simplest things? Like a crying puppy is standing on some broken glass and you want to pick it up and brush the shards off its pads but you can't because you're balancing a ball on your head.