As you might be aware if you’ve been visiting this website lately and/or know anyone who likes books, Tenth of December, George Saunders’ long-awaited fourth collection of short stories, hits bookshelves tomorrow. To celebrate its arrival (and Saunders’s hilarious and deeply felt work in general), we’ve put together a list of 10 of our funniest living authors. For simplicity’s sake, we’re leaving out comedians who wrote funny memoirs (Steve Martin, Tina Fey), and given the subject of our tribute, we’re leaning towards fiction writers, but leaving a little room in the essay/memoir category. After the jump, discover 10 authors who will have you giggling into your tea, and please do add to our list in the comments.
In his essay “Mr. Vonnegut in Sumatra,” Saunders writes, “Humor is what happens when we’re told the truth quicker and more directly than we’re used to.” And this is what happens in Saunders’ fiction — but we’re taken there with such a weird, earnest, and often surrealist hand that it transcends funny and becomes something even better. There’s probably not a word for it yet, but maybe Saunders will think one up.