“Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz”

This week’s published piece is called “Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz,” by George Saunders. I read this piece in his collection, CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, and I had a strong emotional reaction to it. Saunders creates a full world, a full character, and more than one full life. Can’t wait to see what you guys think. Some questions for discussion:

1) How does Saunders incorporate the backstory of the speaker’s wife, and how does this inform the story?

2) Does the voice enhance or distract you from the story? Why?

3) How does the conceit/science fiction element affect the story?

4) Do your feelings toward the protagonist change over the course of the story? Why?

5) How do  the protagonist’s relationships with the women in this story weave together to give us a complete picture?



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