January/February 2015
VOL. 13, NO. 1
January/February 2015

To take part in this year’s Believer Book and Poetry Awards Readers’ Survey, email us at [email protected], telling us the three works of fiction and/or poetry you thought were the finest—the most affecting, the best written—of 2014. The results will be printed in our summer issue.


The Eleventh Annual Believer Book Award


The Fifth Annual Believer Poetry Award


A River Runs Through It

by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah

A Biography of Jimi Hendrix's Electric Lady Studios, Its Ownership, and Other Black Memories

Kumail Nanjiani

Kumail Nanjiani


interviewed by Jane Marie

“That’s when I told my parents, ‘Hey! Good news/bad news. Actually, for you guys, bad news/good news? I dunno, anyway: I’m in love with a white girl and she’s in a coma. I don’t know how you’re going to take either of those.’”
Image not available.

Encounter with the Infinite

by Robert Schneider with Benjamin Phelan

How Did the Minimally Trained, Isolated Srinivasa Ramanujan, with Little More than an Out-of-Date Elementary Textbook, Anticipate Some of the Deepest Theoretical Problems of Mathematics—Including Concepts Discovered Only after His Death?

Dian Hanson

Dian Hanson

[SEXY-BOOK Editor]

interviewed by Elina Shatkin

“Men like breasts. They’re friendly and warm, like puppies.”

What the Swedes Read
by Daniel Handler

The Undeserving River: A new poem
by John Ashbery

How to Follow a Recipe
by Tamar Adler

All Across the Desert Our Bread Is Blooming!
by Lisa Wells
I was asking Jesus to guide me to a living bread, and by God, he did. I ended up right in the middle of it.”

The Process
by Sara Roffino

edited by Alvin Buenaventura

Everything We Can See in the Universe Glows: A new poem
by Jynne Dilling Martin

Perpetually Awaiting a Rebirth of Wonder
by Steven Boyd Saum
Observations of life along the borders during Ukraine’s elections last May.

You'll Never Write About Me Again
by Livia Manera Sambuy
A relationship that caused the journalist to ask herself, “Would I be able to avoid betrayal and still produce serious work?”

Robert Crumb
interviewed by Dan Nadel

Zainab Salbi
interviewed by Jonathan Meiburg

What We Talk About When We Talk About Virality
a Symposium review by Stephen Burt

Lifestyles of the Gluten-Intolerant
a Symposium review by Theodore Gioia

Tomorrow's Epidemic of Forgetting, Today
a Symposium review by Colin Dickey

The Brutal Democracy of AIDS
a Symposium review by Nicole Pasulka

Roz Chast
interviewed by Joanne Furio

The Craft Talk: A new poem
by Rae Armantrout

Stephin Merritt
interviewed by Ross Simonini

Stuff I’ve Been Reading
by Nick Hornby

Readings for Space Tourists
by Marc Katz

...and more.

September 2014 July / August 2014 June 2014 May 2014 March / April 2014 February 2014


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.