The cover depicts, clockwise from the upper left,
Christine Schutt, Bob Odenkirk, O. S. Fowler, and Nick Lowe.
Cover illustrations: Charles Burns!
VOL. 7, NO. 4

A Scanner Darkly
by Paul La Farge
Reading The Kindly Ones isn’t a comfortable experience, or an ennobling one. So why is it so compelling?

Every Reader Finds Himself
by Christopher R. Beha
One man’s single-minded immersion in the five-foot bookshelf that birthed the modern American research university.

The Problem of Other People
by Adam Phillips and Barbara Taylor
Of kindness and self-interest, which is the stronger social adhesive?

Ida, Who Vanquishes Goblins
by Hannah Frank
Running the gauntlet of naming: why Isadora will succeed and Kaydence will fail.

Dr. Octagon
by John Adamian
The nineteenth-century architect, phrenologist, and “foulest man on Earth” speaks to our simplest and most gullible elements.

Out of the Woods
by Mary Williams
The wisdom of a woman in her late thirties walking away from marriage prospects and a well-paying job to hike the Appalachian Trail alone.

Mark McGurl
micro-interviewed by Lee Konstantinou

Robert Smigel
in conversation with Bob Odenkirk
Two former SNL writers discuss the excellence of quiet, awkward comedy.

Nick Lowe
in conversation with Todd Barry
The English songwriter and producer reveals his fear of metronomes and certainty.

Christine Schutt
in correspondence with Deb Olin Unferth
“Your obligation is to know your objects and to steadily, inexorably darken and deepen them.”

John Crowley
interviewed by Ed Halter
The amateur scientist and professional author explains why the fiction section should be desegregated for his new novel.

Creative Accounting: The Puffy Chair (Dir. the Duplass Bros., 2005)
by M. Rebekah Otto

Real Life Rock Top Ten
by Greil Marcus

Joshua Beckman’s Take It
reviewed by Daniel Handler

Patrick deWitt’s Ablutions: Notes for a Novel
reviewed by Theodore McDermott

Horacio Castellanos Moya’s Senselessness
reviewed by Jascha Hoffman

Jesse Ball’s The Way Through Doors
reviewed by Blake Butler

Amina Cain’s I Go To Some Hollow
reviewed by Kate Zambreno

Stacey Levine’s The Girl with Brown Fur
reviewed by Nick Bredie

by Aasif Mandvi

Call Me A Lyre, I Dare You: A new poem
by Bob Hicok

Getting In Line: A new poem
by Bob Hicok

Native: A new poem
by Jessica Fisher

Schema: The Phrenology of Cable News
by Angie Waller

Merge Records    •    AMMO Books    •    Fantagraphics