George Saunders’s political novella The Brief and Frightening Reign of Phil was published by Riverhead Trade Paperbacks in September 2005. He is also the author of Pastoralia and CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, both New York Times Notable Books, and The Very Persistent Gappers of Frip, a New York Times children’s bestseller. In 2000, The New Yorker named him one of the “Best Writers Under 40.” He writes regularly for The New Yorker andHarper’s, as well as Esquire, GQ, and The New York Times Magazine. He won a National Magazine Award for Fiction in 2004 and his work is included inBest American Short Stories 2005. He teaches at Syracuse University.