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Issue 49 is our Cover Stories issue, featuring some of today’s best writers re-imagining (or covering) classic stories. To name a few, there’s Roxane Gay channeling Margaret Atwood, Jess Walter embodying James Joyce, Meg Wolitzer taking on J.D. Salinger—thirteen stories, all told, featuring stunning illustrations by the award-winning design outfit Aesthetic Apparatus, and guest art directed by legendary album-cover designers Gary Burden and Jenice Heo of R. Twerk & Co.

Cover Stories
The Babysitter, Emily Raboteau (covering Some Women by Alice Munro)

The Lottery, Redux, Megan Mayhew Bergman (covering The Lottery by Shirley Jackson

The Tell-Tale Heart, Anthony Marra (covering The Tell-Tale Heart by Edgar Allan Poe)

Falling Faintly, Jess Walter (covering The Dead by James Joyce

Once, Lauren Groff (covering Wants by Grace Paley)

Men On Bikes, Roxane Gay (covering Rape Fantasies by Margaret Atwood)

Company, Namwali Serpell (covering Company by Samuel Beckett)

And So On, Kiese Laymon (covering Hills Like White Elephants by Ernest Hemingway)

If You’re Happy And You Know It, Meg Wolitzer (covering A Perfect Day For Bananafish by J.D. Salinger)

The Argentine Ant, T.C. Boyle (covering The Argentine Ant by Italo Calvino)

One Hour, Every Seven Years, Alice Sola Kim (covering All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury)

Sleepy, Chris Abani (covering Sleepy by Anton Chekhov)

The Yellow Wallpaper, Tom Drury (covering The Yellow Wallpape by Charlotte Perkins Gilman)


Letters from Wajahat Ali, Nick Jaina, Robin Terrell, Kimberly Harrington, Mary Miller, Rick Moody, Will Butler, and Ariel S. Winter.

Selected excerpts from Gary Burden’s autobiography Nobody Knows and Patrick Cottrell’s debut novel Sorry to Disrupt the Peace.

Monologue by Kevin Moffett, excerpted from the Organist podcast, from McSweeney’s and KCRW.

Cover Poems
“The Metaphor Program” by Brian Turner
“Poem for Keats” by Matthew Zapruder
“Having a Coke with You” by Rebecca Lindenberg
“Roofers,” “Suspense,” and “A Nickel on Top of a Penny” by Stephanie Burt
“Poem on the Occasion of Weekly Staff Meeting” by Matthew Zapruder