Download A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life Audiobook

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain: In Which Four Russians Give a Master Class on Writing, Reading, and Life Audiobook, by George Saunders Extended Sample Click for printable size audiobook cover
Author: George Saunders Narrator: B. D. Wong, George Saunders, Glenn Close, Phylicia Rashad, Keith David, Nick Offerman, Rainn Wilson, Renée Elise Goldsberry Publisher: Random House Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2021 ISBN: 9780593394021
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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. *This audiobook includes a PDF of the tables, outlines, figures, and appendices from the book. Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “One of the most accurate and beautiful depictions of what it is like to be inside the mind of a writer that I’ve ever read.”

    New York Times

  • New York Times bestseller
  • #1 Amazon bestseller
  • BookPage Top Pick of Most Anticipated Books of 2021

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About the Author

George Saunders is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of ten books, including Lincoln in the Bardo, which won the Man Booker Prize; Tenth of December, a finalist for the National Book Award; and others. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.

About the Narrators

B.D. Wong was born and raised in San Francisco, California. He made his Broadway debut in M. Butterfly. He is the only actor to be honored with the Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, Outer Critics Circle Award, Clarence Derwent Award, and Theater World Award for the same performance. He starred in the television series All-American Girl, and has made guest appearances on Sesame Street and The X-Files.

Glenn Close is best known for her many Oscar-nominated roles in film, including the psychotic mistress in Fatal Attraction and in an Emmy-winning role on FX’s Damages. In her career she has been Oscar-nominated five times, won three Tony awards, an Obie, three Emmys, two Golden Globes, and a Screen Actors Guild Award.

Phylicia Rashad, an AudioFile Earphones Award–winning narrator, is a Tony Award–winning actress, singer, and stage director, best known for her Emmy-nominated role as Clair Huxtable on The Cosby Show.

Nick Offerman is an actor, humorist, woodworker, and narrator who has won the prestigious Audie Award for best narration as well as numerous Earphones Awards. He has appeared in the television shows Will & Grace, Parks & Recreation, and Children’s Hospital, the movies Somebody Up There Likes Me, Kings of Summer, Infinity Baby, and Smashed, and the comedy tour Summer of 69: No Apostrophe.

Rainn Wilson is best known for his Emmy-nominated role as Dwight Schrute on NBC’s The Office, though today he’s equally well-known for his millions of Twitter followers and the philosophy website he founded, SoulPancake, which launched a New York Times bestselling book of the same name.