DECEMBER 2003/JANUARY 2004
The cover depicts, clockwise from the top left,
the Sweet Valley High twins, Ice Cube,
Aleksandra Mir, and Marianne Moore.
Cover illustrations: Charles Burns!
VOL. 1, NO. 9

“Sir, Permission to Go AWOL from the Interesting, Sir!”
by Tom Bissell
If a how-to-write book makes even one competent writer into a good one, it’s worth the paper it’s printed on.

The Pianist and Schindler and the Hero in Disguise
by Jim Shepard
The movies’ protagonists reflect not only two different Holocausts, but two irreconciliable ideas of how art might confront genocide.

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The Wound and the Bow
by David Shields
At least one aspiring writer found a hero in the shamelessly self-promoting Howard Cosell.

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What Color is Jerboa Fur?
by Dan Chiasson
Marianne Moore may have written odes to pet parrots, but she’ll be remembered more for her genius than for her charm.

The Training Bras of Literature
by Amy Benfer
The allure of Sweet Valley High—despite its simplistic moralizing and evil brunettes—is almost impossible to resist.

Hyperauthor! Hyperauthor!
by Michael Atkinson
An investigation of one fake Japanese poet and the protracted devolution of the literary hoax.

The Cellular Apocalypse
by Carl Elliott
Our transhuman future is full of genetically enhanced promise, but will it also bring the obsolescence of meaning?

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Aleksandra Mir
interviewed by Christopher Bollen
The first woman on the moon wonders: what happened to the future?

Ice Cube
interviewed by Linda Saetre
“It looks like people want what I want, and I give them that and it all works out.”

Jim Crace
interviewed by Ben Ehrenreich
An atheist, Darwinist, socialist author writes mythical stories about eating, sex, and driverless cars named Annie.

Light: Mars
by Erin Ergenbright

Children: Phoebe and Flannery French
by Ken Foster

Underway
by Various

Stuff I’ve Been Reading
by Nick Hornby
Unsurprisingly, this month Mr. Hornby buys a number of books that he doesn’t read, and reads a bunch he didn’t buy.

Hotel: Adonis Palace
by Wells Tower

Tool: Putty Knife
by Eli Horowitz

Mammal: The Koala
by Malaika Costello-Dougherty

Schema: An Interpretive Nonchronological Genealogy of the How-To-Write Book, Annotated with Flap-Copy Promises, Testimonials, & User Reviews
by Gideon Lewis-Kraus