"Whatever your supposed politics are - left, right - if you put it in a human connection, most people will rise to the occasion and feel the human pain in a way that they might not if it was presented in a more conceptual way."
"Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer. Let us not seek to fix the blame for the past. Let us accept our own responsibility for the future."George Saunders on John F. Kennedy
"Suppose you were an idiot, and suppose you were a member of Congress but I repeat myself."George Saunders on Mark Twain
"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."George Saunders on Plato
"If you put the federal government in charge of the Sahara Desert, in 5 years there'd be a shortage of sand."George Saunders on Milton Friedman
"It is enough that the people know there was an election. The people who cast the votes decide nothing. The people who count the votes decide everything."George Saunders on Joseph Stalin
"We try, we fail, we posture, we aspire, we pontificate - and then we age, shrink, die, and vanish."
"My habit would have been to veer towards the dark - to prove I was something edgy, or maybe to prove that I was cognisant of the dark side. Now, with age and confidence, I can say, yeah, that's true, but I am cognisant of the fact that people can do things well. And can be more loving than you expect."
"I still believe that capitalism is too harsh and I believe that, even within that, there is a lot of satisfaction and beauty if you happen to be one of the lucky ones, although that doesn't eradicate the reality of the suffering. It's all true at once, kind of humming and sublime."
"I tend to foster drama via bleakness. If I want the reader to feel sympathy for a character, I cleave the character in half, on his birthday. And then it starts raining. And he's made of sugar."
"I'm finding, as I get older, that I'm not much of a believer in redemption. I mean, I believe in redemption in real life - redemption does happen, and it's cool when it does - but I find myself getting leery of my desire for it in stories (especially my own)."