After the jump, your ears get a kiss. But first:
Tom McCarthy has won the fourth annual Believer Book Award. The new issue has (among other things) an interview with him, Zadie Smith’s lecture on the art of fiction (or is it the state of fiction?), and a review of The Unfortunates, which is described elsewhere thusly:
One of the lost classics of the 1960s, and a legendary experiment in form, The Unfortunates
is B. S. Johnson’s famous "book in a box," in which the chapters are
presented unbound, to be read in any order the reader chooses. It is
one of the key works of a novelist now undergoing an enormous revival
A sportswriter, sent to a small town on a
weekly assignment, finds himself confronted by ghosts from the past
when he disembarks at the train station. Memories of one of his best,
most trusted friends, a tragically young victim of cancer, begin to
flood through his mind as he attempts to go about the routine business
of reporting a soccer match.
The Unfortunates is a
book of passionate honesty and dark, courageous humor: a meditation on
death and a celebration of friendship which also offers a remarkably
frank self-portrait of its author.
There’s also a piece about using Star Wars to teach first grade children about the Middle East. Instead of, you know, just teaching them.