VOL. 13, NO. 2
Summer 2015


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.

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.

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

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.

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

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

Schema: Top 100 US Drug Brand Names and Their Apparent Meaning
by Shoshana Akabas

Paul Holdengräber
interviewed by Lane Koivu

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

Swans at a Pond by JFK Airport: A new poem
by Stephen Burt

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.”

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

Conversation from the Shadow Lands
Charles Yu interviewed by Lev Grossman

First Date: A new poem
by Bob Hicok

Abstract Expressionism: A new poem
by Andrew Nurkin

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

...and more.

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A monthly podcast from THE BELIEVER and KCRW

This whole episode (our season one finale) is a conversation between Lena Dunham and Judy Blume, in Blume’s Manhattan apartment.

Also: We asked Lena Dunham to help us score the interview, and we made this mixtape of the songs she suggested. The mix complies songs Lena thinks go well with the interview, as well as music she’s currently listening to.