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McSweeney's Issue 50 (McSweeney's Quarterly…
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McSweeney's Issue 50 (McSweeney's Quarterly Concern)

by Dave Eggers (Editor)

Other authors: Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie (Contributor), Sherman Alexie (Contributor), Bianca Bagnarelli (Contributor), Jesse Ball (Contributor), Eduardo Berti (Contributor)46 more, Claire Boyle (Managing Editor), Carrie Brownstein (Contributor), Lilli Carré (Contributor), Lucy Corin (Contributor), Rebecca Curtis (Contributor), Lydia Davis (Contributor), Haris A. Durrani (Contributor), Brian Evenson (Contributor), James Folta (Contributor), Sophia Foster-Dimio (Contributor), Sheila Heti (Contributor), John Hodgman (Contributor), Eli Horowitz (Contributor), Kristen Iskandrian (Contributor), Jesse Jacobs (Contributor), Heidi Julavits (Contributor), Dan Kennedy (Contributor), Etgar Keret (Contributor), Zain Khalid (Contributor), Andrew Leland (Contributor), Jonathan Lethem (Contributor), Valeria Luiselli (Contributor), Sarah Manguso (Contributor), Thomas McGuane (Contributor), Carson Mell (Contributor), Steven Millhauser (Contributor), John Moe (Contributor), Kevin Moffett (Contributor), Wendy Molyneux (Contributor), Dan Morey (Contributor), Aparna Nancherla (Contributor), Tucker Nichols (Contributor), Patton Oswalt (Contributor), Jeff Parker (Contributor), Keaton Patti (Contributor), Benjamin Percy (Contributor), Jason Polan (Contributor), Ismet Prcic (Contributor), Matthew Sharpe (Contributor), Corinna Vallianatos (Contributor), Vauhini Vara (Contributor), Sarah Vowell (Contributor), Sarah Walker (Contributor), Diane Williams (Contributor), Sean WIlsey (Contributor), Kevin Young (Contributor)

Series: McSweeney's Quarterly Concern (50)

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I quite liked the idea of fifty contributors for the fiftieth issue, particularly because it meant shorter pieces. A good, fun issue. ( )
  JBD1 | Sep 19, 2018 |
As always, McSweeney’s is intelligent without being pretentious, hip without being hipster, and relevant without preaching. The authors and stories it publishes are inclusive, and vary in delightful ways. One minute you’re reading a humorous take on something like office etiquette, and the next you’re touched in some subtle way by something profound or poetic in one of its stories.

Publishing 50 authors for issue #50 was a sweet thought as all are ‘friends’ of the McSweeney’s family, but doing this by definition meant that contributions were be shorter, and I probably would have preferred more that were meatier, as in other issues. On the other hand, some of my favorite pieces were quite short, so what do I know? Quality level was consistently high, and as I read, I got the warm feeling I always get with McSweeney’s. Subscribing is a joy, and I can’t recommend it more.

Favorites:
The letter to the editor from John Hodgman, formerly of the Daily Show, giving the perspective of a 50-something, in part humiliating with his flirt/joking with a young woman (a true lol moment), and in part liberating with the perspective he now has.

‘Thank You for Your Patience’, by Steven Millhauser, with a woman’s mind wandering to dating when younger, and her hidden frustrations with how it worked out, all while being on hold on the phone.

‘Nancy, All Too Nancy’, by Jonathan Lethem, a play on ‘Human, All Too Human’ by Nietzsche in the form of philosophical captions placed under cartoon stills from ‘Nancy’ by Ernie Bushmiller. Brilliant.

‘Before I Met You’, by Sophia Foster-Dimino, a brilliant, sweet short cartoon about those magical dilation of time when you fall in love - my favorite thing in the book.

‘The Lace Shirt’, by Carrie Brownstein, a touching story of growing up awkward, winning a lace top that Cher had worn at a radio show, and having a little bit of secret glam tucked away. Loved.

‘Jordan Teller’, by Sheila Heti, where the effect of a disturbing violation is amplified by how feelings are conflicted, and by how it’s just barely hidden from family members.

‘Self-Portrait in an Open Medicine Cabinet’, by Andrew Leland, a sophisticated piece which, as the subtitle explains, is about ‘How going blind is like looking at good art’.

‘Forty-Two Reasons Your Girlfriend Works for the FBI, CIA, NSA, ICE, S.H.I.E.L.D., Fringe Division, Men in Black, or Cylon Overlords’, by Haris A. Durrani, a very clever account of a high school romance in a nearly all-white town from the perspective of a smart and nerdy Muslim guy.

‘Orange Julius’, by Kirsten Iskandrian, a very blunt and honest account of a mother trying to stay sane when motherhood does not come naturally to her.

‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Trump’, by Wendy Molyneux, a takeoff on the Prufrock poem by T.S. Eliot in which Molyneux interjects imagined lines from our 45th president into the verse – absolutely brilliant, and it was great re-reading the original poem as well.

‘The Six-Word Sequels to ‘For Sale: Baby Shoes, Never Worn’, by Keaton Patti, which was just that.

‘The Unknown Masterpiece’ by Honore de Balzac, with Endnotes by Valeria Luiselli which are funny, playful, and intelligent, both illustrating the truth of great art and the artistic tradition, as well as its pretentiousness and disingenuous positioning.

‘The Dispersing Journeys (Final Appendix)’, by Edouardo Berti, which had a number of dead-on truths for this reader, including the pathological need to have a current book, the ritual of selecting the next book and looking for a word or concept shared between consecutive books, invariably living a bit like a hermit, and the ‘atrocity’ of a spoiler placed in the introductory remarks for a book. Pretty clever little piece to end the issue.

Jeez, that’s a lot of favorites. Ah, well. ( )
1 vote gbill | Oct 14, 2017 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Eggers, DaveEditorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Adichie, Chimamanda NgoziContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexie, ShermanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bagnarelli, BiancaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ball, JesseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Berti, EduardoContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Boyle, ClaireManaging Editorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Brownstein, CarrieContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Carré, LilliContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Corin, LucyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Curtis, RebeccaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Davis, LydiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Durrani, Haris A.Contributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Evenson, BrianContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Folta, JamesContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Foster-Dimio, SophiaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Heti, SheilaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hodgman, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Horowitz, EliContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Iskandrian, KristenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Jacobs, JesseContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Julavits, HeidiContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kennedy, DanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Keret, EtgarContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Khalid, ZainContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Leland, AndrewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Lethem, JonathanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Luiselli, ValeriaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Manguso, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
McGuane, ThomasContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Mell, CarsonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Millhauser, StevenContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moe, JohnContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Moffett, KevinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Molyneux, WendyContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Morey, DanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nancherla, AparnaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Nichols, TuckerContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Oswalt, PattonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Parker, JeffContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Patti, KeatonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Percy, BenjaminContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Polan, JasonContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Prcic, IsmetContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Sharpe, MatthewContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vallianatos, CorinnaContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vara, VauhiniContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Vowell, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walker, SarahContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Williams, DianeContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
WIlsey, SeanContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Young, KevinContributorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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