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Project Short Story 2013 > George Saunders

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message 1: by Jana (new)

Jana (jazziegirl2010) | 309 comments I read The Semplica Girl Diaries from Tenth of December Stories by George Saunders . I'd LOVE to hear what anyone else thinks about this story. Hopefully Ann will chime in as I believe it's her story of the day! And if you haven't read it, my advice is to NOT read anything about it. Just experience it. I just googled it and spoilers abound even in the subject headings. Maybe I am slow, but I had to puzzle for awhile about what was going on. Here is a link (spoilers as noted above!) from an interview by Deborah Triesman from the New Yorker. It gave me what I needed in post-reading "discussion":

http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs...


message 2: by Gina (new)

Gina Freyn | 24 comments I, too, was puzzled for probably half or better. I went back to see what I was missing. I liked it. Wasn't my favorite. It did invoke extremely sad feelings for the father/husband in the story. Oh, the stress of keeping up and providing! My favorite was "Spiderhead". I LOVED that one. I'm certain it's already been talked about.


message 3: by Jana (new)

Jana (jazziegirl2010) | 309 comments I've liked them all. I still have three more to read. But I definitely have to space them out. If I spend too much time in those worlds, I don't know if I could function in reality. They really can be devastating experiences. And for some reason, Semplica Girls hit me hard. The first story, Victory Lap, I thought was okay. And then the next day I went to see the author. He started off by reading the very same story. It was amazing! Which goes to show you that one time through isn't necessarily enough. I'd love to sit in an audience and have him read the whole book...but as noted above, spread it out over a few months.


message 4: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
I think someone mentioned that he reads the audiobook ... maybe that would do it.

I found Semplica Girls disturbing and touching -- reading the interview with Saunders definitely helped.

I was and am still puzzled by the writing style. I can't figure out if the narrator was a non-native English speaker, if it was a journaling shorthand, or if Saunders had something else in mind. I couldn't find a pattern, and I did find it a little bit distracting.


message 5: by Jana (new)

Jana (jazziegirl2010) | 309 comments Ann wrote: "I was and am still puzzled by the writing style. I can't figure out if the narrator was a non-native English speaker, if it was a journaling shorthand, or if Saunders had something else in mind. I couldn't find a pattern, and I did find it a little bit distracting."

My impression was just quick diary-type "shorthand". I agree it was slightly distracting. But my quest to find out what the hell those SGs were took my attention away from all else. I'm still sad for them (it's only a story...it's only a story).


message 6: by Jana (new)

Jana (jazziegirl2010) | 309 comments Here is a link to the author event by George Saunders that we went to in Seattle last month. He reads the first story from Tenth of December. He answers some great questions at the end. It's fabulous and I'm so happy it was captured in audible form (excellent quality too).

http://townhallseattle.org/george-sau...


message 7: by [deleted user] (new)

I couldn't figure out what SG meant either (though now looking at the title of the story - duh).
I have a few stories left in Tenth of December and I am still looking for one that I can appreciate and say I enjoyed. With all of the buzz about this book, I feel like I'm missing something in these stories.


message 8: by Mary Fran (new)

Mary Fran Moran (maryf1) I too was puzzled by what SG meant and kept looking back thinking i missed something. Then I stumbled upon the story in the New Yorker 10/15/12. There is an illustration of the semplica girls which was enlightening --- and horrifying.


message 9: by Jana (last edited Mar 13, 2013 08:36AM) (new)

Jana (jazziegirl2010) | 309 comments Mary Fran wrote: " There is an illustration of the semplica girls which was enlightening --- and horrifying...."

Here's the illustration along with the story:
http://www.newyorker.com/fiction/feat...

Can you believe I looked at that online (that's not where I read it, but still I did go to the link) and DID NOT NOTICE that this was an illustration for the story? I thought it was an advertisement and completely ignored it.

Thanks for mentioning it, Mary Fran.

EDIT: The illustration is also in the link I posted with the Deborah Triesman interview at the top of this thread. Do I need to have my head examined? Or my eyes checked?


message 10: by Cathy (new)

Cathy | 6 comments The installation... I had to put the story down and walk away.


message 11: by Victoria (new)

Victoria (vicki_c) | 366 comments I've just started the Semplica Girl Diaries - really like 2 paragraphs in. Someone mentioned the writing style. Within 3 sentences, all I could think of was Bridget Jones is narrating this! So I guess now I will be seeing Renee Zellwiger in my mind throughout the story.


message 12: by Victoria (new)

Victoria (vicki_c) | 366 comments Ok, so it was a guy. What a story. Disturbing, but I liked it overall. Wanted a better ending. Hate to be left hanging...


message 13: by Ann (new)

Ann (akingman) | 2097 comments Mod
Ouch!


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