Bestselling author George Saunders, known for his dark humor, to give the annual Krieger Lecture, April 14, 2015

Author George Saunders has enjoyed wide praise for his work. The New York Times wrote that he “used humor and satire and hyperbole to give us darkly funny snapshots of a nightmare America only a hop, skip and jump removed from the country we see on Drudge, TMZ and reality TV.” In 2013 Time named him one of the 100 most influential people in the world, calling him “the best short-story writer in English.” Saunders will speak at Vassar on Tuesday, April 14, 8:00pm, in the Students’ Building second floor auditorium. This event is the college’s annual Alex Krieger ’95 Memorial Lecture, and will include Saunders reading from his work and answering questions from the audience. It is free and open to the public with seating on a first-come first-served basis.

Saunders has published several books, including the highly acclaimed Tenth of December, a short story collection that the New York Times Magazine hailed as “the best book you’ll read this year.” Entertainment Weekly enthused about the book, “It’s an irresistible mix of humor and humanity…that will make you beam with unmitigated glee.”

Saunders’ earlier works include CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, Pastoralia, and In Persuasion Nation. His writing has been published in the New Yorker and he has written travel pieces for GQ, including one assignment that had him journey to Africa with Bill Clinton. A recipient of both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship (commonly known as the “genius grant.”), he teaches writing at Syracuse University.

This annual lecture series is given in memory of a Vassar student, Alex Krieger, who was killed in an automobile accident during the spring of his freshman year. One of Krieger’s keenest interests was distinguished American writing that incorporates humor as a primary element. In consultation with his family, Vassar has invited outstanding American writers and humorists to deliver the annual speech, including Tom Wolfe, Wendy Wasserstein, John Irving, P. J. O’Rourke, Calvin Trillin, Jules Fieffer, Oliver Sacks, Tony Kushner, David Sedaris, Michael Chabon, Sarah Vowell, Gail Collins, Augusten Burroughs, Frank Rich, Ira Glass, Andy Borowitz, Mo Rocca, and, most recently, Gary Shteyngart.

Vassar College strives to make its events, performances, and facilities accessible to all. Individuals with disabilities requiring special accommodations must contact the Office of Campus Activities at least 48 hours in advance of an event, Mondays-Fridays, at (845) 437-5370. Without sufficient notice, appropriate space/and or assistance may not be available. For detailed information about accessibility to specific campus facilities, search for “campus accessibility information” on the Vassar homepage (

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Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential liberal arts college founded in 1861.

Posted by Office of Communications Tuesday, March 17, 2015