Welcome to Inner Horner, a nation so small it can only accommodate one citizen at a time. The other six citizens must wait their turn in the Short-Term Residency Zone of the surrounding country of Outer Horner. But when Inner Horner suddenly shrinks, forcing three-quarters of the citizen then in residence over the border into Outer Horner territory, the Outer Hornerites declare an Invasion in Progress - having fallen under the spell of the power-hungry and demagogic Phil. So begins The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil. Fuelled by Saunders's unrivalled wit, outlandish imagination and incisive political sensibility, this is a deeply strange yet strangely familiar fable of power and impotence, justice and injustice. The novella is followed by In Persuasion Nation, a collection of stories by turns touching, funny and sad, set in a warped, hilarious, yet very recognisable American landscape.
George Saunders is the author of two short story collections, Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, as well as the children's book, The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip. His work has received four National Magazine Awards, and has been selected for the O. Henry Awards and Best American Short Stories collections. In 1999, Saunders was recognized as one of the 20 best young American fiction writers by the New Yorker. He teaches in the creative writing program at Syracuse University.