George Saunders, "Isabelle"

Melancholy and infinite sadness in a poor town.

(from CivilWarLand in Bad Decline)

We were young, ignorant of mercy.

Yeah, I sure do read a lot of George Saunders. This time around, the experience was not unlike watching an episode of The Twilight Zone. I knew horrible twists, grotesque truths and odd hope were on the way, but not because Saunders tipped his hand. I just knew what show I was watching. Those things are why I tuned in.
Lately I’ve been forgetting to mention the plots of the stories I read. “Isabelle” is about a kid who sees murder and hate and ignorance all around him in a poor, racially tense town, but notes acts of love and kindness inspired a handicapped girl. That’s sort of it. Here‘s an interview with Saunders in which he discusses, among many things, “Isabelle.” The apostrophes there seem to have turned to question marks, but push through, people.
Here is a link to the actual story, which, heck yes, you should read today.

One thought on “George Saunders, "Isabelle"

  1. jenny

    Hi, I’d love to read this story, but the link to it isn’t working any more. Any chance you can fix it?
    Thanks, Jenny


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