McSWEENEY’S ISSUE 4
At long last, arguably our best issue ever, back in print (in a sturdier box)!
This issue contains 312 pages, which is more than issues 1–3, though in this case the pages are not all bound together. This issue actually starts with a box, within which are fourteen separate booklets, most of the stories having been granted their own binding and color covers. They look very good.
Now, a rundown of the issue's contents:
Rachel Cohen: "A Chance Meeting"
[Poignant and illuminating discussion of a meeting that never happened – between Willa Cather and Katherine Anne Porter. 16 pages]
George Saunders: "Four Institutional Monologues"
[A new story-cycle. 16 pages]
Ben Miller: "Dar(e)apy"
[Short story involving cooking oil and imminent fire. 16 pages]
Lawrence Weschler: "Two Further Convergences"
[Just as the title suggests. Includes two color foldouts. 8 pages]
Sheila Heti: "The Middle Tales"
[Five stories by this Toronto writer, who lives at home with her dad and brother. 16 pages]
Haruki Murakami: "Dabchick"
[Short story involving tunnels and passwords. 12 page]
Rick Moody: "The Double Zero"
[A cover version of Sherwood Anderson's "The Egg." 16 pages]
Jonathan Lethem: "K Is for Fake"
[A version of "The Trial." 16 pages]
Paul Maliszewski: "Paperback Nabokov"
[An investigative essay exploring that author's endless efforts, mostly in vain, to improve the covers of his books, in particular their paperback incarnations. With four color pages of rare paperback covers, and an appendix of related correspondence. 32 pages]
Paul Collins: "Symmes Hole"
[Another in Mr. Collins's series of profiles of history's notable (and failed) dreamers. This one recounts the life of a certain Mr. Symmes, who spent decades trying to convince the world that there was another, below our own, accessible via the North Pole. 16 pages]
Lydia Davis: "A Mown Lawn"
[A meditation on those three words. 8 pages, sort of]
Denis Johnson: "Hellhound on My Trail"
[A three-act play. Very hard to summarize. 80 pages]
Issue also contains a booklet, of 48 pages, which contains new, short work from these people, among others: Sarah Vowell, Arthur Bradford, Sean Wilsey, J. Robert Lennon, Amy Fusselman, Nicholas Laughlin, Dan Pope, Gabe Hudson, Marcy Dermansky, the very fine John Warner and a very funny piece by a Mr. Jason Eaton.
On the back cover is "More Notes on Revising Last Night's Dream," a perfect little thing by Ben Greenman.
There are also many drawings of ears and severed hands.