An excerpt from “My Writing Education: A Time Line” by George Saunders:
During the Q&A someone asks what Toby would do if he couldn’t be a writer.
A long, perplexed pause.
“I would be very sad,” he finally says.
The room makes a sound that means “Us too.”
Jane says: George Saunders’s timeline displays the slow, determined learning that happens in the foundational years of writing, which for Saunders stretches from 1986 to 2000. This breakdown intrigues me, especially that six-year gap between his good story and first book, and what that says about community, solitude, discipline. Tobias Wolff’s generosity and his insistence on not losing “the magic” is magical. But every time I think about this article sadness snakes in: what happens to Paula, the writer? where are the POC?