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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Good Thunder Series features George Saunders March 17

MacArthur Award-winner

Good Thunder Series features writer George Saunders.

Minnesota State University, Mankato Media Relations Office news release [3/2/2011]

Minnesota State University Mankato’s Good Thunder Reading Series continues its spring semester programming when it features MacArthur Award-winning fiction and creative nonfiction writer George Saunders, along with graduate student Amanda Schumacher, on Thursday, March 17.

Saunders will meet with community writers for a question-and-answer session in Centennial Student Union 238 at 10 a.m. At 3 p.m. in the CSU Ostrander Auditorium, the writer will lead a discussion on the craft of writing. And, at 7:30 p.m. in CSU Room 253, he will join Schumacher for a reading from their work.

All events are free and open to the public.

An interview with the writer, part of the “Authors in Transit” series on public-radio station KMSU 89.7 FM, also will air on March 17, at 1 p.m., and again on Friday, March 18, at 11 a.m.

Saunders is the author of three collections of short stories: the bestselling Pastoralia, set against a warped, hilarious, and terrifyingly recognizable American landscape; CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, a Finalist for the PEN/Hemingway Award; and In Persuasion Nation, one of three finalists for the 2006 STORY Prize for best short story collection of the year. Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline were both New York Times Notable Books.

Saunders is also the author of the novella-length illustrated fable, "The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil," which takes us into a profoundly strange country called Inner Horner, and the New York Times bestselling children's book, "The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip," illustrated by Lane Smith, which has also won major children’s literature prizes in Italy and the Netherlands. The Boston Globe lauds Saunders’ ability to “construct a story of absurdist satire, then locate within it a moment of searing humanity." Saunders also published a book of essays, "The Braindead Megaphone," in 2007.

Schumacher is currently in her third year of the MFA program in creative writing at Minnesota State Mankato. She comes from Ames, Iowa, where she received her MA from Iowa State University. Her writing ranges from young-adult novels to short stories to personal essays.

This year’s Good Thunder Reading Series is funded by the Minnesota State Mankato Department of English, the College of Arts and Humanities, the Office of Institutional Diversity, the Nadine B. Andreas Endowment, the Eddice B. Barber Visiting Writer Endowment, the Robert C. Wright Endowment, and individual donors.

And, this activity is made possible in part by a grant provided by the Prairie Lakes Regional Arts Council from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund as appropriated by the Minnesota State Legislature with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. This activity is also made possible in part by a grant provided by the Minnesota State Arts Board, through an appropriation by the Minnesota State Legislature from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund with money from the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008. MSU Library Services and the Barnes & Noble Bookstore at Minnesota State offer additional assistance.

For more information about the series, call Richard Robbins at the MSU Mankato Department of English, 507.389.1354, or see the web site at

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