Every gift tells a story

A Swim in a Pond in the Rain

For twenty years, George Saunders (prize-winning author of Lincoln in the Bardo) has been teaching a class on the Russian short story at Syracuse University. This book shares a version of that class with us. 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.

Saunders 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, he 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.
  • Paperback, 432 pages.
  • Measures 20.3 x 25.4 x 4.7 cm.