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Congratulations, by the way: Some Thoughts on Kindness Hardcover – April 22, 2014
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“As slender as a psalm, and as heavy.”—The New York Times
“The graduating college senior in your life probably just wants money. But if you want to impart some heartfelt, plainspoken wisdom in addition to a check, you can't do much better than [Congratulations, by the way].”—Entertainment Weekly
“The loving selflessness that [George Saunders] advises and the interconnectedness that he recognizes couldn’t be purer or simpler—or more challenging.”—Kirkus Reviews
“Warm and tender.”—Publishers Weekly
About the Author
George Saunders is the author of eight books, including the story collections Pastoralia and Tenth of December, which was a finalist for the National Book Award. He has received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Guggenheim Foundation. In 2006 he was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2013 he was awarded the PEN/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story and was included in Time’s list of the one hundred most influential people in the world. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.
Top customer reviews
The speech is fantastic though, and this is a great "gift" book.
In 2013, Saunders delivered the convocation speech at Syracuse University for the class of 2013, and shared it with The New York Times where it was reprinted with his permission.
In April of 2014 the speech was published by Random House in this little book. Mr. Saunders argues that "as a goal in life, you could do worse than: Try to be kinder." He understands that we all have ambitions for fame, fortune and love but urges us as much as possible to: "err in the direction of kindness. Do those things that incline you toward the big questions, and avoid the things that would reduce you and make you trivial."
Although the entire graduation speech appears in The New York Times, the book is beautifully produced. The speech takes only about 15 minutes to read but each word carries weight and meaning. It is a speech to savor and re-read often. Although the speech is available online, I recommend buying the book. But in any event, the speech is absolutely worth reading.
It speaks about kindness, and what kindness projects, and what kindness really means, right now, tomorrow, and when you near the end of your mortality. Read it, and this vague review will soon become clearer.
A nice message, a little bit flip or sassy, but good and kind. Short--can be read in about 15-20 minutes.
I also like that the book is hardcover and looks nice and colorful as a gift item, wrapped or not.