THE BELIEVER MAY 2009

$16.00 $10.00

After a half decade away The Believer has returned home to McSweeney’s. To celebrate the momentous occasion, we’ve dug through our archives and found an extremely limited number of classic and timeless issues for your purchasing pleasure. Once these are gone, they’re gone forever.

Table of Contents:

A Scanner Darkly        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        CHRISTOPHER R. BEHA
One man’s single-minded immersion in the five-foot bookshelf that birthed the modern American research university.

Creative Accounting: The Puffy Chair        M. REBEKAH OTTO 

Call Me a Lyre, I Dare You: A new poem        BOB HICOK   

The Problem of Other People        ADAM PHILLIPS AND BARBARA TAYLOR  
Of kindness and self-interest, which is the stronger social adhesive?

Ida, Who Vanquishes Goblins        HANNAH FRANK   
Running the gauntlet of naming: why Isadora will succeed and Kaydence will fail.

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

Real Life Rock Top Ten        GREIL MARCUS   

Getting in Line: A new poem        BOB HICOK   

One-Page Book Reviews         VARIOUS   
Daniel Handler on Joshua Beckman, Theodore McDermott on Patrick DeWitt, Jascha Hoffman on Horacio Castellanos Moya, Blake Butler on Jesse Ball, Kate Zambreno on Amina Cain, and Nick Bredie on Stacey Levine

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

Sedaratives        AASIF MANDVI   

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

Schema: The Phrenology of Cable News        ANGIE WALLER   

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

Christine Schutt    in conversation 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.

Native: A new poem        JESSICA FISHER   

Mark McGurl    micro-interviewed by    LEE KONSTANTINOU