Award-winning author George Saunders to open University Lectures on Thursday

George Saunders to open University Lectures on Thursday

The NewsHouse talks to notable author about his past, present and future at Syracuse University.
Published: October 16, 2018
Portrait of George Saunders
Award-winning author George Saunders poses for a portrait at the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications on Thursday, Oct. 11, 2018.

With homecoming around the corner, Syracuse University alumnus, professor and multi-award winning author George Saunders sat down with The NewsHouse to discuss his career and life at SU.

Coming off his 2017 Man Booker Prize winner, Lincoln in the Bardo, Saunders said he still feels like he hasn’t arrived. Part of this feeling stems from his need to keep creating without trapping himself with works of the past.

“If you’re going to have an artistic life, you want to totally engage with the thing you’re working on. Believe that it’s the best thing ever, that it’s going to answer all of humanity’s questions. But as soon as you’re done, let it go. So you’re constantly resetting your clock to basically the place it was when you were 18 and all of your artistic life was ahead of you,” Saunders said.


Watch the full NewsHouse interview with George Saunders conducted by News Producer Claire Miller.

Saunders kicked off his artistic life in SU’s Master of Fine Arts program, where he met his wife and got engaged within three weeks in the thick of a lush fall. Since that time, he said campus has only become more beautiful, and it’s importance to his career has held strong. He has taught here since 1996 and is in no hurry to leave.

“I recognize that this place and my colleagues and my students are totally intrinsic to what I’ve been able to accomplish,” he said. “I don’t, at this point, see that putting that behind me would be helpful at all.”

This Thursday, October 18, at 7:30 p.m. in Hendricks Chapel, Saunders will open the 2018 University Lectures series. Students will have the opportunity to hear from the New York Times bestselling author, and will likely consider themselves lucky. What they may not realize is how important they are to Saunders himself.  

“There’s something really lovely and lucky about getting to engage with young people–talented young people–and kind of to be reminded that talent is totally eternal,” Saunders said.