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Jeff Tweedy, guest readers to celebrate author George Saunders at DePaul University

Saunders will deliver new lecture after 24-hour marathon reading of his work

Author George Saunders
Author George Saunders will headline a 24-hour celebration of his work, hosted by the DePaul University Humanities Center June 2-3, 2105. (Photo by Chloe Aftel)
CHICAGO — Bestselling author George Saunders will headline a marathon celebration of his work at DePaul University June 2-3. “24 Hour George Saunders” will include live readings of Saunders’ writing from guests including musician Jeff Tweedy, author Sara Levine and Crain’s Chicago Business editor Michael Arndt. Actor Jesse Eisenberg will also do a reading via video from New York.

The DePaul Humanities Center will welcome Saunders at the end of the event to deliver a new lecture about the future of the humanities in higher education, “Why the Humanities, Why Art?”

“Saunders is the preeminent writer of this generation,” said H. Peter Steeves, professor of philosophy and director of the DePaul Humanities Center. “He’s also our foremost cultural critic. Access to a liberal arts education is indispensable to the future of our society, and Saunders’ voice is an important one in making it clear just how true this is.”

24 hours of continuous readings
June 2 at 8 p.m. until June 3 at 8 p.m. 
Saunders reads June 3 at 7 p.m.

DePaul University’s Lincoln Park Campus
Student Center, Room 120
2250 N Sheffield Ave.

This event is free and open to the public. Seating will be on a first-come, first-served basis throughout the 24 hour reading, and capacity will be limited.

George Saunders is a New York Times bestselling author who is known for his collections of short stories. His works include “Congratulations, By the Way,” “Tenth of December” and “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline.” Born in Amarillo, Texas, Saunders grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago. He earned a degree in exploration geophysics from the Colorado School of Mines. After spending time as a geophysicist on the Indonesian island of Sumatra, Saunders returned to the United States to pursue a writing career. In 1992, his short story “Offloading for Mrs. Schwartz” became the first of many of his works that would be published in The New Yorker. In 2001, Saunders was selected by Entertainment Weekly as one of the 100 most creative people in entertainment, and by The New Yorker in 2002 as one of the best writers 40 and under. In 2006, he was awarded both a Guggenheim Fellowship and a MacArthur Fellowship. In 2009, he received an Arts and Letters Award in literature (formerly Academy Award) from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Saunders earned a master’s degree from Syracuse University, where he has been teaching in the Master of Fine Arts program since 1996.

More information on George Saunders at

Guest readers will include:

June 2

  • Jeff Tweedy, 8-9 p.m. The singer, songwriter and producer will help open the event. Best known for the bands Wilco and Uncle Tupelo, Tweedy is currently touring with his son Spencer in their band, Tweedy.
  • Michael Arndt, 9-10 p.m. Editor of Crain’s Chicago Business, Arndt was previously senior editor and writer at BusinessWeek and business editor at the Chicago Tribune. 
  • Sara Levine, 10-11 p.m. Levine is the Chicago-based author of numerous essays, the novel “Treasure Island!!!” and the short story collection “Short Dark Oracles.” Levine teaches in the writing program at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

June 3

  • Lindsay Hunter, 12-1 p.m. Hunter is the author of “Ugly Girls” as well as the collections of short stories “Daddy’s” and “Don’t Kiss Me.” She is originally from Florida and currently lives in Chicago.
  • Jesse Eisenberg, 1-2 p.m. Eisenberg is an Academy Award-nominated actor who is best known for his starring role as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the film “The Social Network.” He has also starred in “Zombieland,” “30 Minutes or Less,” and “Now You See Me.” He will be portraying Superman villain Lex Luthor in next year’s “Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice.”
  • Kevin Madden, 2-3 p.m. Madden is the Defense Intelligence Agency Chair at the United States Air Force Air University, and a professor at U.S. Air Force Air War College.
  • Christian TeBordo, 3-4 p.m. is an author and director of the Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing program at Roosevelt University. His most well-known work is the short story collection “The Awful Possibilities,” which was nominated as an American Library Association Notable Book and received accolades from Publishers Weekly and Booklist.
  • Adam Levin, 4-5 p.m. Levin is an author well known for his short story collection “Hot Pink” and the novel “Instructions.” Levin teaches creative writing and literature at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

The DePaul University Humanities Center fosters discussion and research in the arts and humanities on campus and among the greater community. More about the center at​ 


Media Contact:
Kristin Claes Mathews