George Saunders was born in 1958 in Texas and trained as a geophysical engineer. In 1988, he obtained an M.A. in creative writing from Syracuse University and went on to teach on the MFA program. His works comprise several collections of short stories, including Tenth of December (2013) a novella, The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil (2005), a children's book, a book of essays, screenplays and travel pieces for GQ magazine. In 2006 Saunders was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship and a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 2009 he received an Academy Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. He lives in Rochester, US, with his wife and children.
'A few years back I was flying out to California, reading Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. I found the book was doing weird things to my mind and body. Suddenly, up there over the Midwest, I felt agitated and flinchy.'