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Purchase College Hosts Critically Acclaimed Author George Saunders

Purchase College-SUNY will feature George Saunders, one of the literary world’s most beloved authors, on Thursday, March 9, 2017, at 4:30 p.m. The program, which is free and open to the public, will take place in the Humanities Lecture Hall at Purchase College (735 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, NY). The event will be a highlight of the Durst Distinguished Lecture Series, which brings preeminent writers to the Westchester community.

“George Saunders is the kind of writer who isn’t so much liked or admired as he is loved. His short stories are inventive, funny, and compassionate, and his essays, like his recent piece on president Trump’s followers, are a model of their kind,” said Anthony Domestico, assistant professor of literature at Purchase College. “We’re particularly lucky to have him visiting us right as his first novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, is receiving such high praise.”

Saunders’s novel recently received a glowing review in The New York Times by Colson Whitehead—who previously appeared at Purchase College as a Durst lecturer. The novel was also reviewed favorably by The New Yorker and Harper’s.

Mehdi Tavana Okasi, assistant professor of creative writing, commented, “We are incredibly excited to bring George Saunders to Purchase College. A master in the short story form, Saunders has now published his first novel to great anticipation (and many positive reviews). His unique style of imagining semi-fantastical, often outlandish and absurd worlds, becomes a powerful lens through which the reader recognizes shared human anxieties and experience. By showing the world to us slant, Saunders evokes a thrilling balance between the strange and familiar, between what we know about ourselves and what we come to see new by reading his fiction.”

In 2013, Time named George Saunders one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He is the author of four collections of short stories which regularly appear in The New Yorker, a novella, a book of essays, an award-winning children’s book, and the novel Lincoln in the Bardo. Tenth of December, his most recent short story collection, was named one of the Top Ten Books of 2013 by The New York Times. He has been awarded both a MacArthur Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. For more information, please visit www.purchase.edu or call 914.251.6550.

The Durst Distinguished Lecture Series and the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature are funded by the Roy and Shirley Durst Distinguished Chair in Literature Endowment. The mission of the Durst programs is to infuse the experience and intellect of leading writers into the Purchase community, while providing diverse opportunities for these writers to interact with students and influence campus life.