Thanks for the list request Ann Marie! I love George Saunders. Here are other favorites of mine who walk some similar terrain.
  1. Lorrie Moore
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    My current favorite. Funny, dark, still warmly accessible. Pitch perfect ear. My choice: Birds of America.
  2. Miranda July
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    Walks the line beautifully between abstract and specific. Contemporary, inspired, emotional, not afraid to be raw or pretty. My choice: No One Belongs Here More Than You
  3. Simon Rich
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    The funniest of this group. People might read Saunders for depth first, and end up happily surprised by his wicked sense of humor; Simon Rich, a young author rightly acclaimed for his hilarious New Yorker pieces, is funny on the surface and then you end up surprised by the depth and emotion. My choice: Spoiled Brats.
  4. J.D. Salinger
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    The master of the spare, dark line between cynicism and sensitivity. My choice: Nine Stories.