The strange new issue of McSweeney's.

Arts, entertainment, and more.
April 3 2003 6:33 PM

The 98-Pound Gorilla in the Room

How the spindly McSweeney's short story became a menace.

(Continued from Page 1)

In one way, at least, Chabon's issue does provide hope. The point is not that genre fiction necessarily "liberates" writers—most of the pieces here are dreadful, especially the ones by genre stalwarts like Crichton and King. But a few of them are actually profound. These are the ones in which the writers didn't adhere too strictly to their chosen genre—in fact, it's not always easy to determine what that genre might be. They seem, rather, to have taken the idea of genre as simply a reminder that stories can have plots, and characters, and even epiphanies. These stories are experimental, in their own way—some of them are quite self-conscious—but their experimenting is a means to meaning, not an end. Who are these old-fashioned writers? None other than McSweeney's own Nick Hornby, Rick Moody, and Dave Eggers.



The Democrats’ War at Home

How can the president’s party defend itself from the president’s foreign policy blunders?

An Iranian Woman Was Sentenced to Death for Killing Her Alleged Rapist. Can Activists Save Her?

Piper Kerman on Why She Dressed Like a Hitchcock Heroine for Her Prison Sentencing

Windows 8 Was So Bad That Microsoft Will Skip Straight to Windows 10

Homeland Is Good Again! For Now.


Cringing. Ducking. Mumbling.

How GOP candidates react whenever someone brings up reproductive rights or gay marriage.


How Even an Old Hipster Can Age Gracefully

On their new albums, Leonard Cohen, Robert Plant, and Loudon Wainwright III show three ways.

The U.S. Has a New Problem in Syria: The Moderate Rebels Feel Like We’ve Betrayed Them

We Need to Talk: A Terrible Name for a Good Sports Show by and About Women

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