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A swim in a pond in the rain : in which four Russians give a master class on writing, reading, and life

Call Number

  • 891.708 S2574 (CEN, OSH)

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Publication Information

New York : Random House, 2021.

Physical Description

xii, 410 pages ; 25 cm


"In A Swim in a Pond in the Rain, George Saunders guides the reader through seven classic Russian short stories he's been teaching for twenty years as a professor in the prestigious Syracuse University graduate MFA creative writing program. Paired with stories by Chekhov, Turgenev, Tolstoy, and Gogol, these essays are intended for anyone interested in how fiction works and why it's more relevant than ever in these turbulent times. Saunders approaches each of these 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. For the process of writing, Saunders reminds us, is as much a craft as it is a quality of openness and a willingness to see the world through new eyes. Funny, frank, and rigorous, A Swim in a Pond in the Rain ultimately shows how great fiction can change a person's life and become a benchmark of one's moral and ethical beliefs"--


Includes texts of seven short stories.


  • We begin
  • In the Cart
  • Anton Chekhov. A page at a time: thoughts on In the Cart ; Afterthought #1
  • The Singers
  • Ivan Turgenev. The heart of the story: thoughts on The Singers ; Afterthought #2
  • The Darling
  • Anton Chekhov. A pattern story: thoughts on The Darling ; Afterthought #3
  • Master and Man
  • Leo Tolstoy. And yet they drove on: Thoughts on Master and Man ; Afterthought #4
  • The Nose
  • Nikolai Gogol. The door to the truth might be strangeness: Thoughts on The Nose ; Afterthought #5
  • Gooseberries
  • Anton Chekhov. A swim in a pond in the rain: Thoughts on Gooseberries ; Afterthought #6
  • Alyosha the Pot
  • Leo Tolstoy. The wisdom of omission: Thoughts on Alyosha the Pot ; Afterthought #7
  • We end.

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