An unexpected pairing

My friend Wendy recently suggested we read George Saunders' convocation address, Congratulations by the way, alongside one of his short stories, The Semplica Girl Diaries, for book club.  For me, the short story hung on a particular line - attributed to the main character's youngest child, Eva:  "I don't like it.  It's not nice."  Her words are honest, spare, direct and motivated by instinctive empathy, by a belief in kindness.  Her emotional response to what she sees quietly echoes the heart of his address. This blog is concerned with craft, not current affairs, but it was impossible not to feel grateful for a celebration of kindness amidst recent events. 

To read the full address see this New York Times article.