The cover depicts, clockwise from the top left,
Kristen Schaal, a Jawa, Sandra Dee, and John Cheever.
Cover illustrations: Charles Burns!
VOL. 6, NO. 5

That Crafty Feeling
by Zadie Smith
Ten short lessons marking the various stages in the writing of Zadie Smith’s novels.

Gidget on the Couch
by Peter Lunenfeld
What do the surf shops of Huntington Beach owe to Robert Musil and the Austro-Hungarian Empire?

Kiddie Orientalism
by Brian T. Edwards
Using Star Wars as a tool for de-exoticizing the Middle East for first-graders.

John Cheever on the Rocks
by Blake Bailey
The chronicle of a dark period in the life of John Cheever, including drunken trips to the hospital, the psychiatrist, and Iowa.

Tom McCarthy
interviewed by Mark Alizart
“Art has become the place where literary ideas are received, debated, and creatively transformed.”

Gus Van Sant
interviewed by Alexandra Rockingham
How do you make a popular-cinema version of abstract art? Study painting, learn the Hollywood system, and watch Sátántangó.

An Oral History
edited by Craig Walzer
Three countries later, a refugee from Sudan is still looking for home.

Kristen Schaal
interviewed by Alena Graedon
Most recognizable as the stalker-fan from HBO’s Flight of the Conchords, Schaal also does killer Andy Kaufman–style standup and loves birds.

The Believer Book Award
by the Editors

by Paul Feig

Tool: Norco 71222 Lightweight Floor Jack
by John Brandon

Jenny Browne’s The Second Reason
reviewed by Stephen Burt

Claude Cahun’s Disavowals
reviewed by Kate Zambreno

G. V. Desani’s All About H. Hatterr
reviewed by Karan Mahajan

Thomas Devaney’s A Series Of Small Boxes
reviewed by Alan Gilbert

Rivka Galchen’s Atmospheric Disturbances
reviewed by Andrew Ervin

B. S. Johnson’s The Unfortunates
reviewed by Linden Park

Nina Revoyr’s The Age Of Dreaming
reviewed by Darcie Dennigan

“Haofon Rece Swealg”: a new poem
by Jane Hirshfield

Cast of Thousands: a new poem
by Sandra Beasley

Schema: Curious Hungarian Synesthesia
by Larissa Dooley