Synopses & Reviews
McSweeneys began in 1998 as a literary journal, edited by Dave Eggers, that published only works rejected by other magazines. But after the first issue, the journal began to publish pieces primarily written with McSweeneys in mind. Since then, it has attracted works from some of the finest writers in the country, including Denis Johnson, William T. Vollmann, Rick Moody, Joyce Carol Oates, Heidi Julavits, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Chabon, Ben Marcus, Susan Straight, Roddy Doyle, T. C. Boyle, Steven Millhauser, Gabe Hudson, Robert Coover, Ann Beattie, and many others. Today, McSweeneys has grown to be one of the countrys best-read and most-widely circulated literary journals, with an expanding, loyal subscriber base and strong independent bookstore following. As a small publishing house, McSweeneys is committed to finding new voices Gabe Hudson, Paul Collins, Neal Pollack, J. T. Leroy, John Hodgman, Amy Fusselman, Salvador Plascencia, and Sean Wilsey are among those whose early work appeared in McSweeneys and promoting the work of gifted but underappreciated writers, such as Lydia Davis and Stephen Dixon.
Our return, after four issues, to pure hardcover bookness features Jonathan Franzen on Upper East Side ambition, Jess Walter on the men who ride children's bicycles in Spokane, Washington, Joe Meno on women who want to be eaten by lions, Etgar Keret and Joyce Carol Oates on murder and language in a restaurant called Cheesus Christ and at Gate C34 of Newark International Airport, respectively--and ten more stories besides, five of them strange and beautiful pieces from Kenya that will tell you, indelibly, what it's like to be drunk for seventy-two hours straight in Nairobi or to smuggle contraband jam into the girls' dormitory of the Precious Blood Riruta Secondary School or to fly over the Kalacha Goda oasis in a small plane, at sunset, with your brother in a coffin next to you. Other topics covered include unemployment, drumming vs. painting, and Faisal Shahzad, the Times Square car-bomb attempter. As if that wasn't enough, this one is our first full-color issue in quite a while, too, with illustrations on every pageso if the absence of art was your last excuse, you no longer have any reason not to subscribe in time for this one.