By Seija Rankin
January 12, 2021 at 10:00 AM EST
Credit: Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic; Random House

Yes, you read that headline right. If you're following and have already dived into our exclusive clip below, great. If not, allow us to explain. George Saunders, he of Lincoln in the Bardo fame, releases his latest book this week. A Swim in the Pond in the Rain is the literary extension of a class that Saunders has been teaching to MFA students at Syracuse University, that explores Russian short stories. In this new collection, the author pairs beloved works by the likes of Tolstoy and Gogol with essays that explain their importance and investigate the story's structure. The result is what, in Saunders' own words, is a master class in reading and writing.

Saunders also enlisted a few heavyweights from the world of pop culture to help him with the audiobook: The different chapters are read by Nick Offerman, BD Wong, and Hamilton's Renée Elise Goldsberry, among others. Here, EW offers a first listen to a clip of none other than Glenn Close reading "The Darling" by Anton Chekhov. If we could still go to dinner parties, this chapter would give you so much to talk about.

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