for January 2014

  • Shoshana Akabas is a senior at the University of Pennsylvania, the editor-in-Chief of the Penn Review, and studies organic chemistry and English (making her one of the few people who can both synthesize organic compounds and spell their names). She spent one of the best summers of her life interning at McSweeney’s.
  • Joshua Bauchner is a writer, editor, and student living in New Jersey. His work has appeared in Bookforum, Cabinet, and Triple Canopy.
  • Alvin Buenaventura occasionally publishes comics and other things through Pigeon Press.
  • Chris Clayton’s nonfictional words have appeared in Outside, Men’s Health, a gaggle of city magazines, and a murder of alt-weeklies. Because he’s from the Twin Cities, he feels obligated to share his favorite Prince song: “The Beautiful Ones.” Purple Rain forever.
  • Lena Dunham is a writer, director, and actor who lives and works in Brooklyn. She directed the feature film Tiny Furniture and created the HBO series Girls. Her first book, Not That Kind of Girl, will be published by Random House in October 2014. Her passions include but are not limited to pop music, wallpaper, list-making, damaged dogs, and her parents’ secrets.
  • Nick Hornby is the author of six novels, the most recent of which is Juliet, Naked, and a memoir, Fever Pitch. He is also the author of Songbook, a finalist for a National Book Critics Circle Award for music criticism, and editor of the short-story collection Speaking with the Angel. His screenplay for An Education was nominated for an Academy Award. He lives in North London.
  • Greil Marcus is the author of Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the Twentieth Century, Mystery Train: Images of America in Rock ‘n’ Roll Music, and The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice, and other books. His column, Real Life Rock Top Ten, runs monthly in the Believer.
  • Sarah Marshall grew up in Oregon and recently completed an MFA in writing from Portland State University, where she now teaches. She is at work on a book about women’s roles in media spectacle, from which this piece is excerpted.
  • Douglas W. Milliken is the author of the book White Horses. He lives and works in Portland, Maine.
  • Allan Peterson’s Fragile Acts (McSweeney’s Poetry Series) was a finalist for both the 2013 National Book Critics Circle Award and the Oregon Book Award. A poet and visual artist, he divides his time between Gulf Breeze, Florida, and Ashland, Oregon.
  • Conan Putnam is a freelance writer based in San Francisco. Her fiction and articles have appeared in the Sewanee Review, the Seattle Review, Other Voices, the Chicago Tribune and the San Francisco Chronicle. She is currently working on a novel.
  • Keir Roper-Caldbeck lives and writes in Glasgow, Scotland.
  • Katie Ryder is a writer and editor living in New York. Some of her most recent work can be found in Black Clock and online with Bookforum.
  • James Santel’s writing has appeared in the Wall Street Journal, the American Scholar, and the Los Angeles Review of Books, and is forthcoming in the Hudson Review. He graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2012.
  • Lawrence Weschler’s more than fifteen books—running from political tragedies through cultural comedies—include Seeing Is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees (on artist Robert Irwin); Mr. Wilson’s Cabinet of Wonder (on the Museum of Jurassic Technology); Vermeer in Bosnia; Everything that Rises: A Book of Convergences; and, most recently, Uncanny Valley: Adventures in the Narrative.