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Thoughts on kindness come to life in two WCNY programs with George Saunders May 16

WCNY presents an interview with George Saunders, internationally recognized writer, and professor of English at Syracuse University in the College of Arts and Sciences. He is widely known for his thoughts on kindness, and how kindness impacts everything.

The interview will air on WCNY’s weekly public affairs program “Insight,” at 9 p.m. Friday, May 16 on WCNY. Following the interview, “The Book of Saunders,” an up close and personal look at Saunders, will air at 9:30 p.m. also on WCNY.

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“As commencement season arrives, we look forward to speaking with George and exploring why his infamous thoughts on kindness are still relevant, a year after he addressed Syracuse University’s Class of 2013,” said Jim Aroune, WCNY vice president of TV and radio operations. “We’re excited to share George’s global influence with viewers throughout Central New York.”

Saunders, one of the world’s best short story writers, reflects on life, levity and the pursuit of his craft in the half-hour documentary. He’s the author of The New York Times bestseller “Tenth of December,” which was recently awarded the Story Prize and England’s Folio Prize. His other books include the critically acclaimed collections “Pastoralia” and “CivilWarLand in Bad Decline”; a bestselling children’s book; and an essay collection, “The Braindead Megaphone.” In 2006, he was awarded the Pen/Malamud Award for Excellence in the Short Story and was included in Time’s 2013 list of the 100 most influential people in the world. A recipient of the MacArthur “Genius” Award, he teaches in the Creative Writing Program at Syracuse University.

His convocation speech to College of Arts and Sciences graduates in 2013 urging kindness and tolerance to others was published in The New York Times and went viral, garnering more than one million views. It’s the subject of a new book, “Congratulations, By the Way: Some Thoughts on Kindness.”

“The Book of Saunders” is a production of Syracuse University Electronic Media Communications. Stu Lisson, executive producer and director, credits his production team and WCNY for helping share Saunders’ inspiring story with Central New York viewers.


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