Here’s the opening sentence of the title story in George Saunders’s new collection, Tenth of December: “The pale boy with unfortunate Prince Valiant bangs and cublike mannerisms hulked to the mudroom closet and requisitioned Dad’s white coat.” It’s such a great first sentence, full of imagery and rhythm and momentum. Which is what you should expect from all of Saunders’s work. This is exactly the reason December is receiving the kind of critical accolades that you only see when Philip Roth writes about masturbation or someone close to Joan Didion dies. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave,, 7:30 pm, $5)