“Thursday”
by George Saunders
from the June 12, 2023 issue of The New Yorker

This week we get another story from the master. While I’ve had some issues with the stories of George Saunders over the last few years, I think his last collection won me back, to the point I want to go back and reread the ones that didn’t land for me. But even when I was not on the same wavelength as Saunders’ work, I was always excited to see another appear in the magazine.

I’ve come to think that Saunders’ unique brand of fiction is still unique, even if his stories are almost always easily identifiable as his. They are still, more often than not, powerful and invigorating, unless I go in with an eye focused on finding things too familiarly Saundersesque.

Here is how “Thursday” begins:

On the bright side, it was Thursday.

“Gerard, yes, hi, hello,” said Mrs. Dwyer, the nurse’s assistant sanctioned to hand over the Perlman headpiece and the big green pill and the smaller red one that activates the green one.

“How was the week?” she asked.

“Same,” I said.

“Oh, gosh, sorry,” she said.

In Treatment Room 4, she checked with the caliper to make sure the pressure foot of the Perlman was seated correctly.

It was.

This is familiar, but I begin with excitement rather than wariness! Please feel free to leave your thoughts below.

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