I’m always glad to see a new short story from George Saunders. This month’s New Yorker features his story, “Home,” as part of their summer fiction issue. The story of a vet trying to re-enter his life after service in Afghanistan or Iraq (we’re never sure which), it is vintage Saunders: uproariously funny in parts, then sliding into probing psychological insight, with a hint of horror hanging over the entire story.
Consider just this snippet of brilliance, from a scene where the narrator loses himself in a kind of revelry of violence and threat with his mother and her boyfriend:
They were both so scared they weren’t talking at all, which made me feel the kind of shame you know you’re not going to cure by saying sorry, and where the only thing to do is: go out, get more shame.