In this edition of the Granta podcast we hear from George Saunders. One of the finest, funniest writers of his generation, he writes stories that pulse with outsized heart, crackle with the ad-speak and eek out the human story from the lives of theme-park workers and the subjects of strange drug tests that enhance libido and eloquence. His books include CivilWarLand in Bad Decline, a finalist for the 2006 PEN/Hemingway Award, Pastoralia, In Persuasion Nation and Tenth of December. He has also published a book of essays, The Braindead Megaphone, and one novel, Lincoln in the Bardo. Here he speaks to online editor Ted Hodgkinson about allowing his characters access to goodness, why he wants to avoid ‘auto-dark’ in his stories, how the death of David Foster Wallace affected his writing and closing the gap between art and life.