The cover depicts, clockwise from the upper left,
a Japanese tengu monster, Ruth Reichl, Francis Ford Coppola,
and Alex Whybrow, a.k.a. professional wrestler Sweet ’n’ Sour Larry Sweeney.
Cover illustrations: Charles Burns!
VOL. 8, NO. 1

What Happens There
by John D’Agata
A chronicle of suicide, longing, silence, and what’s not announced by the epic signage of Las Vegas.

Speak, Memorates
by Robert Ito
Were the ghosts and demons described in a Japanese folklore classic real? And why is nearly everyone in the stories so very mean?

FULL TEXT
Toward a Theory of Surprise
by Chris Bachelder
In reading, we perform the nearly oxymoronic feat of seeking surprise.

Fridays at Enrico’s
by Sarah Weinman
Don Carpenter, author of one of the best prison novels of all time, and a superlative Hollywood novel, is finally back in the spotlight.

Catharsis in Bebop
by John Domini
How does the innovative fiction of Gilbert Sorrentino experiment with form and still keep readers’ passions engaged?

FULL TEXT
Aleksandar Hemon
in conversation with Colum McCann
Two brilliant novelists (one Bosnian, the other Irish) discuss the communities (real and imagined) that drive their work.

Francis Ford Coppola
in conversation with Ruth Reichl
Coppola tells Reichl about the place of food in his life, his films, his family, and what he cooked the night before last.

Alex Whybrow
interviewed by Andrew Simmons
The ways in which the essays of Ralph Waldo Emerson complement the career of a professional wrestler.

Eileen Luhr
micro-interviewed by Nick Poppy
How Christian rock colonized (and was colonized by) secular culture.

From “Hide and Seek”: Three new poems
by Dan Chiasson

Second Person: A new poem
by Rae Armantrout

Sedaratives
by Liam Lynch

Real Life Rock Top Ten
by Greil Marcus

FULL TEXT
Momus’s The Book of Jokes
reviewed by Justin Taylor

FULL TEXT
Javier Marías’s Your Face Tomorrow: Volume Three
reviewed by Megan Doll

Lynn Sukenick’s Houdini
reviewed by Meehan Crist

Kiki Petrosino’s Fort Red Border
reviewed by David Gorin

“Comics”
by Alvin Buenaventura

Musin’s and Thinkin’s
by Jack Pendarvis

Schema: Color Sayings from Around the Globe
by Jude Stewart

SPONSORS
Merge Records    •    Harper Perennial    •    Beggars Group and Matador Records