THE BELIEVER SUMMER ISSUE 2015

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The Believer’s summer issue features work by Álvaro Enrigue and Nell Zink, Gary Greenberg and Bijan Stephen, as well as interviews with Robert Coover, Amber Tamblyn, Charles Yu and Lev Grossman, the New York Public Library’s Paul Holdrengräber, and the Wooster Group’s Elizabeth LeCompte. Among many other things, it explores the man who became an unwilling inspiration for Jim Jones, the personal story of a woman named after her father’s deceased first child, and the work of the mail-artist Ray Johnson. There are also poems by Rae Armantrout, Michael McGriff, Stephen Burt, and Andrew Nurkin.

Read Adam Morris’s essay on James Jones in its entirety, right here.

This issue is also available as an ebook. You can purchase it from Barnes and Noble, iTunes, Amazon, and elsewhere.

Table of Contents:

Pockets of Resistance by Catherine Foulkrod
The formation and continuing aftereffects of China’s post-Mao fashion craze.

How to Send Things to Germany by Nell Zink
A continuing series of essential advice.

The Divine Inspiration of Jim Jones by Adam Morris
While he worked to expand the Peoples Temple, Jim Jones took a pilgrimage to Pennsylvania to meet God in heaven.

“First Date”: a new poem by Bob Hicok

“Abstract Expressionism”: a new poem by Andrew Nurkin

The Confidence Man by Gary Greenberg
In which the possibility that psychiatry is a diddle is discussed, with particular attention paid 
to the placebo effect and the talking cure.

“Shooting Possums from the Back Porch of Roger’s Bar”: a new poem by Michael McGriff

What’s in a Necronym? by Jeannie Vanasco
“I am named after the daughter my father lost.”

A Common Language by Kristina Shevory
Ron Capps served in Rwanda, Darfur, Kosovo, Eastern Congo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. When he got back, writing was the only thing that could truly bring him home again.

Descending Night by Elisabeth Donnelly
The cruel fate of Audrey Munson,
who learned that physical beauty can be as valuable as government bonds and as dangerous as a curse.

(Untitled) by Mary Mann
The life and work of the artist 
Ray Johnson, examined in part through an analysis of his 1969 collage Feeting Poster.

“Comics” by edited by Alvin Buenaventura

El Vocho: A Familiar Subject by Álvaro Enrigue
An elegy for the twilight years of Mexico’s late party dictatorship upon the occasion of the rise of a third nation of narcoterrorism.

What the Swedes Read by Daniel Handler

The Eleventh Annual Believer Book Award: Short List

Robert Coover interviewed by Aaron Shulman
“Some ways of naming a generation are fruitful and some are not. Postmodernism is not. It doesn’t really say anything.”

“Canary”: a new poem by Rae Armantrout

Schema: Top 100 US Drug Brand Names by Shoshana Akabas

The Fifth Annual Believer Poetry Award: Short List

Paul Holdengräber interviewed by Lane Koivu
“In a way I’m asking from the public 
the most precious commodity that anybody has, which is time.”

Jimmy Robert interviewed by Jude Stewart
In which an artist discusses making a particular work.

Symposium: A discussion on (mostly) books as they relate to the theme of wildlife.
Tim Sheedy on the orangutan, Donna Kozloskie on the rising floodwaters, Stephen Burt on swans at JFK, Megan Pugh on a poetic doomsday prophecy, Monica Westin on vegetal being, and Bijan Stephen on spillover.

Elizabeth LeCompte interviewed by Hillar Liitoja
“I’m not a person who loves to see everything fall apart all the time, but I realize that sometimes that has to happen to make something more.”

Amber Tamblyn interviewed by Rachel Matlow
“If you’re doing something that terrifies you, most likely you’re doing the right thing.”

Charles Yu interviewed by Lev Grossman
“I once thought as you do. Lately I’ve been getting more interested in borders. I get a lot of enjoyment out of playing the different conventions of literary fiction and fantasy off each other.”