GEORGE SAUNDERS VERSUS NICK GALLUP
Currently New Pop Lit has a Reading Challenge! ongoing-- an opportunity to read two recent short stories and compare them in a brief (25 to 500 words) review that would be posted within days at the New Pop Lit NEWS blog.
Who's game? Anyone?
For me, George Saunders has always been a puzzling writer-- though I suppose it's not puzzling why he's widely published and lauded.
Saunders turns standard populist writing practice on its head. At one time, authors (and more, moviemakers) would offer a romanticized depiction of actual life, as both incentive and escape for the intended audience: the masses, including those struggling.
George Saunders offers a wildly exaggerated version of reality-- exaggerated in the other direction, depicting lower class life as grotesque, deformed, and diseased. We can't be sure of the intended audience-- but we do know his actual audience, which isn't the masses, but instead, those who are well-educated and affluent. Those who read The New Yorker magazine, for instance.
Which I guess means Saunders' work isn't in any way populist.
If you can, read and compare the two stories!