The cover depicts, clockwise from the top left,
Philip Seymour Hoffman, Elaine Pagels,
Yukio Mishima, and Milana Runjić
Cover illustrations: Charles Burns!
VOL. 2, NO. 1

Yukio Mishima and the Dream of the Holy Explosion
by Marcela Valdes
Lessons on nationalism from the suicide of a seminal postwar Japanese novelist.

In Search of Jim Crow
by Robert Christgau
How minstrelsy shaped race relations in nineteenth-century America, and what recent upheavals in minstrelsy studies say about our attitudes today.

The Possibility of the Search
by Sven Birkerts
Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer and our shimmering pursuits rekindled.

The Perpetual Debut Novelist
by David Amsden
Taking advantage of a sad new trend in publishing: your most sought-after novel might be your first one.

Mike Davis
interviewed by Joshuah Bearman
The versatile author of City of Quartz on modern-day pirates, young-adult mysteries, mountain lions, and truckers.

Tibor Fischer
interviewed by Isabel Duffy
The British novelist cracks Hungarian jokes, talks book-reviewing, and plans to leave London.

Elaine Pagels
interviewed by Rodes Fishburne
A Princeton professor on how the long-lost Gospel of Thomas asks not “what do you believe?” but “what have you learned?”

Philip Seymour Hoffman
interviewed by Ryan Bartelmay
The cult-favorite actor discusses George Saunders’s short story “Sea Oak” and other things literary.

Bird: Great-Tailed Grackle Bird
by Kate Hill Cantrill

Child: Theresha Williams
by Quressa Robinson

Motel: Lake Fun
by Rebecca Bengal

by Milana Vuković Runjić
Originally published in the Croatian newsweekly Globus. This is, literally, a Croatian sex column.

Stuff I’ve Been Reading
by Nick Hornby
This month, the sneaky author learns how to pad his list with short books, and manages to slip some controversial bits past our censors.

by Various

Light: St. Elmo’s Fire
by Michael Schiavo

Tool: Invacare Folding Shower Chair
by E. Tyler Lindvall

Underappreciated in 2003: Brave Books That Might Have Escaped Your Notice

World’s Fair: Chicago, Illinois
by Alec Michod

Schema: Toll-Free Ogres: An Indirectory
by Brian McMullen