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GEORGE SAUNDERS: CivilWarLand in Bad Decline

CivilWarLand in Bad Decline is a short story collection by George Saunders. According to Google Books, it offers a "witty portrait of America in the near future" while taking a "pointed look at such topics as corporate hypocrisy, marital discord, and virtual reality."

This DC book club has been around for more than a year, and has hosted over 30 events. We have wine and snacks at our events, and spend a couple hours discussing each book or movie. The Dupont Circle Reading railroad focuses on contemporary and classic work of literary merit: past readings include Borges, Chekhov, Dickinson, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Proust, Tolstoy, and Yeats, and more recent novels by Haruki Murakami, David Foster Wallace, and Alison Bechdel. We have also watched movies by Godard, Almodóvar, and Kurosawa.

We typically meet Sunday nights in Dupont Circle, generally in one of our members' apartments. But we are always looking for space, so if you know of a quiet bar or cafe that can accommodate up to 20 people, feel free to suggest one in the comments!

Our calendar this year is below. WE WANT YOUR SUGGESTIONS: There's some space there for additional (short) books or movies, so feel free to suggest some here:


February 3: H. G. Wells {The Time Machine}
February 17: J. D. Salinger {Raise High the Roofbeams Carpenters, Seymour an Introduction, Franny & Zooey}
March 3: George Saunders {CivilWarLand in Bad Decline}
March 17: James Joyce {Ulysses}
March 31: Annie Proulx {Close Range}
April 14: Sadegh Hedayat {The Blind Owl}
April 28: Kurt Vonnegut {Cat's Cradle}
May 12: Neil Gaiman {Sandman}


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  • Jack M.

    Another great discussion illuminating a great number of the themes. Increased my appreciation considerably.

    March 4, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member


    March 4, 2013

  • Jesse H.

    Apologies - have to leave for work trip earlier than expected

    March 3, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Apologies in that my workload prevents me from attending this wonderful event--I hope to attend in the future.


    March 2, 2013

  • Kristie

    Something came up and I won't be able to make it.

    February 28, 2013

  • Tal

    Ulysses (corr. ed.)is taking up some time, and it's not so much those 650pp but the other 650pp of the Annotated Ulysses. I will only attend Bad Decline if I can read it.

    February 20, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Strange... I just happened to buy a copy of that book, so I might as well read it soon and hear what people say about it. (I have read some of Saunders' later stories in the New Yorker, which is how I got interested in him...)

    February 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Can't attend anymore - work trip. :(

    February 8, 2013

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