Nothing says September like a CONTEST!
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Greetings From McSweeney's
How Music Works Now in Paperback

The Latest McSweeney's Books
Momo Gets a Book Trailer
Coming Soon From McSweeney's
New From Voice of Witness
McSweeney's Issue 44

Spectacular Subscription Specials
A Teaser from the Believer

Dear Reader,

Fall is almost upon us. And you know what they say about Fall: it's a time for contests—specifically, contests of the Twitter and Instagram variety. Changing leaves, hot chocolate, and Mom and Pop and the kids all busily tweeting and posting cool pics around the kitchen table. It's a tableau that would make Norman Rockwell weep into his oatmeal. 

You see, today is the day that How Music Works by David Byrne becomes available in paperback. The very same How Music Works that was described as "fascinating" by Booklist, "extraordinary" by The Guardian, and "brilliantly original" by The New York Times Book Review. If you must read more praise for this book (there is a lot—go nuts!) you can easily do so by clicking here. Not only is the paperback beautiful and easy to carry, it has been revised and updated with over thirty new pages, because paper covers, like second chances, are magical. All this for only $20! And if you win our contest that price will be $0. That's right: winners will get a copy of the brand spanking new paperback edition of How Music Works by David Byrne for free.

How do you enter? In the coming weeks we will be wheatpasting these posters in New York:

See it in the wild, and tweet a picture or post it to instagram with the hashtag #howmusicworkspb, and you will be automatically entered to win a copy of How Music Works. But wait, you say, I do not live in New York, nor do I have plans to visit that fair city in the near future, or perhaps ever. That's fine. Perfect, really. Print out this poster and take a picture of it taped to your local police station. Or a telephone pole. Or your dog. Well, maybe just hold it up in front of your dog. We do not want to encourage taping animals. Then proceed as directed above. You too will now be eligible to win a paperback copy of How Music Works 
Can't wait to see if you've won the contest? We understand. We too have been impatient. Read on to learn how you can purchase a copy right now:
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How Music Works
By David Byrne

Now in paperback! Updated and revised, with a brand new, interactive website!

How Music Works is David Byrne’s buoyant celebration of a subject he has spent a lifetime thinking about. Drawing on his work over the years with Talking Heads, Brian Eno, and myriad collaborators—along with journeys to Wagnerian opera houses, African villages, and anywhere music exists—Byrne shows how music emerges from cultural circumstance as much as individual creativity. It is his magnum opus, and an impassioned argument about music’s liberating, life-affirming power.

New York Times and LA Times Bestseller! Check out a preview of the book here, and a Q&A with David here.

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T H E    L A T E S T    M c S W E E N E Y 'S    B O O K S

Lucy Corin’s dazzling new collection is powered by one hundred apocalypses: a series of short stories, many only a few lines, that illuminate moments of vexation and crisis, revelations and revolutions. An apocalypse might come in the form of the end of a relationship or the end of the world, but what it exposes is the tricky landscape of our longing for a clean slate.

Three longer stories are equally visionary: in “Eyes of Dogs,” a soldier returns from war and encounters a witch who may in fact be his mother; “Madmen” describes an America where children who reach adolescence choose the madman who will accompany them into adulthood; in “Godzilla versus the Smog Monster,” a teenager is flustered by his older, wilder neighbor while California burns on the other side of the continent.

At once mournful and explosively energetic, One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses makes manifest the troubled conscience of an uneasy time.

Would you like to see that die-cut cover with art by Clare Rojas in action? Wait no longer.

Lucy Corin is on tour! Check out her upcoming appearances here.

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by Michael Ende; translated by Lucas Zwirner; with illustrations by Marcel Dzama

The Neverending Story is Michael Ende’s best-known book, but Momo—published six years earlier—is the all-ages fantasy novel that first won him wide acclaim. With gorgeous new drawings by Marcel Dzama and a new translation from the German by Lucas Zwirner, this all-new 40th anniversary edition celebrates the book’s first U.S. publication in over 25 years. If you find yourself in New York City on October
16th, don't miss the release party:


For the rest of us who don't live in NYC but do still reside on the Internet the release party takes the form of this  incredibly creepy book trailer, definitely the creepiest book trailer McSweeney's has ever produced. Don't miss it:

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The End of Love
By Marcos Giralt Torrente; translated by Katherine Silver

Coming in October!

In this quartet of mesmerizing stories, Marcos Giralt Torrente explores the confounding, double-edged promise of love. Each finds a man carefully churning over his past, trying to fathom how the distance between people can become suddenly unbridgeable.

Two tourists visit a remote island off the coast of Africa and are undone by a disconcerting encounter with another couple. A young man, enchanted by his bohemian cousin and her husband, watches them fall into a state of resentful dependence over the course of decades. A chaste but all-consuming love affair between a troubled boy and a wealthy but equally troubled girl leaves a scar that never heals. The son of divorced parents tries in vain to reunite them before realizing why he is wrong to do so. In The End of Love, Giralt Torrente forges discomfiting and gripping dramas from the small but consequential misunderstandings that shape our lives.


Toro Bravo: Stories. Recipes. No Bull.
by John Gorham and Liz Crain


Coming in October!

At the heart of Portland’s red-hot food scene is Toro Bravo, a Spanish-inspired restaurant whose small plates have attracted critical praise and a fiercely loyal fan base. But to call Toro Bravo a “Spanish restaurant” doesn’t begin to tell the whole story. At Toro Bravo, each dish reflects a time, a place, a moment. For chef John Gorham, it’s personal. Gorham’s the sort of guy who’d get his sous chef’s name tattooed on his backside; the sort of guy who’ll order rum shots for the table after you don’t believe you can ingest a single thing more. Most important, Gorham believes that there’s more to food than mere sustenance.

The Toro Bravo cookbook tells that story: from Gorham’s birth to a fourteen-year-old mother who struggled—all her life—with drug addiction, to time spent in his grandfather’s crab-shack dance club, to formative visits to Spain, to becoming a father, to opening a restaurant. It’s about the power of passion, relentlessness, and, of course, food. Toro Bravo cookbook also includes 95 of the restaurant’s recipes, adapted for the home kitchen, from simple salads to homemade chorizo, along with an array of techniques that will appeal to both the home chef as well as the most seasoned, forearm-burned cook. You’ll want to cook these recipes. And you’ll want to share what you’ve made with the people who mean the most to you.

Liz Crain & John Gorham are on tour.

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McSweeney's Issue 44

It’s not every year that we get to release a palindromic-numbered edition of our quarterly—and with this next one, out in just a few weeks, we’ve taken that responsibility very seriously. Are there tremendous new stories from Rebecca Curtis, Stuart Dybek, Jim Shepard, and Joe Meno? There are. Is there a symposium on the man Errol Morris calls “The Most Annoying Public Intellectual in America,” with contributions from Geoff Dyer and Ricky Jay and David Hockney and Jonathan Lethem and Mr. Morris and many others besides? There is! Is there, even, an eye-popping novella from Wells Tower, set deep in one of Thailand’s strangest prisons, full of such intrigue and humor and violence and life that it will leave you dazed, wandering the streets, entreating others to subscribe to McSweeney’s as soon as they can? You better believe it, and we want you to be safe out there, but we really think this one is worth the risk. You can purchase your very own Issue 44 right here.

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High Rise Stories: Narratives from Chicago Public Housing
Compiled and Edited by Audrey Petty

In the gripping first-person accounts of High-Rise Stories, former residents of Chicago’s iconic public housing projects describe life in the now-demolished high-rises. These stories of community, displacement, and poverty in the wake of gentrification give voice to those who have long been ignored, but whose hopes and struggles exist firmly at the heart of our national identity.

"A hard look at the consequences of poverty and flawed concepts of public housing and urban renewal." 

"The stories demand attention rather than voyeurism: though nearly all of the high rises themselves have been torn down over the last decade, the problems discussed in the book remain." 
Publishers Weekly

"When I was a kid on the south side of Chicago I’d drive by the Taylor Homes or Cabrini Green and, equipped with a head full of bleak legends, wonder: “What’s going on in there?” Now I know. This astonishing book tells us that what was going on in there was…life. Loving, fighting, kindness, insanity, addiction, aspiration, terror, redemption—everything that goes on in any human community but with the dual compressions of poverty and neglect. Audrey Petty and her team have recorded and edited these stories in a way that is joyful, novelistic, and deeply moving. High Rise Stories radically expanded my understanding of human beings."
— George Saunders, author of Tenth of December

"The importance of this book cannot be overstated. High Rise Stories is essential reading for anyone interested in fair housing. The Voice of Witness series is a megaphone for our country's most marginalized voices, opening critically needed space in the national conversation on housing reform."
—Van Jones, Former Special Advisor to the Obama White House, author of Rebuild the Dream and The Green Collar Economy

Audrey Petty is on tour in Chicago, New York, and other cities. Please check here for event information.

Click here to read an excerpt of
High Rise Stories, and you can read an interview with Audrey Petty conducted by author Stephen Elliott here.

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S P E C T A C U L A R     S U B S C R I P T I O N

Begin or renew your (or a friend’s!) subscription to McSweeney's for just $55—you’ll begin (or they will!) with with Issue 45. In the past there have been hardcovers and paperbacks, an issue with two spines, an issue with magnetic binding, an issue that looked like a bundle of junk mail, and an issue that looked like a sweaty human head. Subscribe and see what's next!




Begin or renew your subscription to the Believer today for just $45—new Believer subscriptions will begin with our October 2013 Issue. And each month after that, you’ll receive a bounty of new articles, interviews, reviews, poems, and columns, all in perfect-bound print; you’ll have the opportunity to study up close the beautiful illustrations of Charles Burns, Tony Millionaire, and our regular raft of guest artists and photographers; you can pore over each issue’s two-page vertically-oriented Schema spread; you’ll enjoy the feel of the Westcan Printing Group’s gorgeous “Roland Enviro 100 Natural” recycled acid-free heavy stock paper against your hands, fingertips, and face; and you’ll save a hefty percentage off the $8 cover price.






A year after launching the inaugural, experimental Year of Shirts subscription, we’re officially deeming it a success—which means, equally officially, we're opening the doors to an ongoing subscription (an ongoing investment, if you will). If you enroll now, you’ll get six shirts over the course of one year, from the sketch pads of Lisa Hanawalt and five others we’ve yet to contact.





In response to popular request and a vivid dream, we created the Book Release Club a little while back—some seventy-one books ago, technically, though it seems like hardly twenty-three. Similar in spirit to a book-of-the-month club, the BRC sends its subscribers our next eight McSweeney’s books one by one as they roll off the press, all for a paltry $100. If you'd like your BRC subscription to start with a limited-edition signed copy of Hot PinkAt Home on the Range, or Emmaus, just email after you subscribe, and we'll make it happen for you—otherwise your subscription will begin with High Rise Stories.




McSweeney's McMullens is our new children's book imprint, which aims to publish great books for individuals and families of all kinds. Every book will be produced with special care and built to last, and will strive to remind readers of just how delightful it can be to sit down and read a book. This subscription will begin with Momo by Michael Ende, and continue with seven more books sent directly to your door. 
And to catch up on earlier books in the series, at more-or-less subscription price, we offer two different bundles: the original McMullens bundle and the new McMullens bundle.





The McSweeney's Poetry Series is founded on the idea that good poems can come in any style or form, by poets of any age anywhere. Our goal is to seek out and publish the best, most vital work we can find, regardless of pedigree. If it were up to us, there'd still be poems in your morning paper—poems that move, provoke, inspire, and delight. Till then, we'll publish them the only way we know how: in beautiful hardcovers with original art that reflects the writing within. These will be books to own, books to cherish, books to loan to friends only in rare circumstances. Sign up now to start with Victoria Chang's The Boss.

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A    T E A S E R    F R O M    T H E    B E L I E V E R !
I spent a week in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and during my stay I was invited to do all sorts of things with people of all kinds—rich and poor, white and black. I was invited to go flying, dig for worms at midnight, and plant raspberry bushes. My request to drive a tractor was turned down, not because I don’t know how to drive but because the tractor had been put away. In Ohio, there is space for people to do what they want. There is a lot of land, plenty of it. This is where enslaved people ran to, certain that they had finally evaded capture. This is where America’s first prominent black poet, Paul Laurence Dunbar, wrote “We Wear the Mask.” And somewhere in the midst of it all is Dave Chappelle’s home. 
—From "If He Hollers Let Him Go," by Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah in the Believer September 2013 Issue. 

To read the rest, sign up right here.
Until next month,

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