Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Persuasion Nation by George Saunders

Dear Lisa,

How are you? Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I’ve been really busy and I got sick over Christmas and stuff. I am happy to hear that your new job is fun—dude, anything would be better than leather tanning! I didn’t want to tell you at the time, but Jesus Christ, I couldn’t get near you without thinking of that time in high school when we took all that acid and met those hobos behind the playground…

Things are okay with me. After all the confusion after the surgery I really needed to get out of my head/ bandages so I got a really excellent book called Persuasion Nation that I’ve been hearing about forever. I was happy to find out that it was short stories (is short stories?), because it was sometimes so hard to keep my eyes open for long periods of time with the continuous ocular lancing and all that.

Remember when we went to sci-fi camp together and we spent the night in the mess hall “building dream-machines” and talking to those guys about Philip K. Dick and then you got all drunk on some peach schnapps and made out with the one with braces? And then your tongue got so swollen, but the Kligonese freaks were all over you? Well, when I was talking to the one in the shirt, I said I loved Dick (he got all embarrassed. Ha!) and how he manages (at his best) to take the absurdities of his present and project them into a future so jumping and ugly and glib and dangerous, but somehow painfully recognizable. Well, PN does that too, without being dervivative and with a humor and compassion that Dick could never seem to muster.

Fucking brilliant and exactly what I was looking for. I’d write you some quotes from the book, but my hands get cramped so easily now. Suffice to say, you need to pick it up on your day off, or have Lucius do it for you if he’s not too busy “working.”

Anyway, so I love my new eyebrows and finally-working legs. I can’t wait to visit. I have so many new scars to show you. We can add them to our book. Send me some pictures of you’re newest corn sculptures soon!


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