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Fiction Pick of the Week: "Wolf in White Van"

An excerpt from Darnielle’s debut novel, in which a disfigured man talks to maladjusted teens.


Wolf in White Van [Excerpt]

A disfigured man's encounter with maladjusted teens.

"Coming back around the side of the store to the parking lot, I saw some teenagers hanging out in the bed of a white Toyota pickup. They must have pulled up while I was inside. They were smoking cigarettes in the deliberate self-conscious way of smoking teenagers: two of them, long-hairs. They were also openly watching me as I carried my bag toward the car. People like me prefer teenagers to other people. They are not afraid to stare."


Slaves of Happiness Island

On the coast of Abu Dhabi, gilded outposts of the Louvre, the Guggenheim and New York University are being built by foreign workers who cannot leave and are paid half of what they were promised.


How Poor Young Black Men Run from the Police

A sociologist learns techniques for evading the authorities.

Excerpted from On the Run.


In Love with the Modern World

The early days of Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers.


President Chill

A profile of Uruguay President José Mujica, a former revolutionary who’s been shot six times, was imprisoned for 14 years and, since taking office, has shunned the presidential mansion in favor of a small farm while legalizing gay marriage, abortion and marijuana.


Dirty Water: The Story of the Standells

A tour with the Stones, an appearance on The Munsters, and a song about “how Boston is a shit hole.”


Snapshots of the Underground

Moe Tucker narrates her time drumming in the Velvet Underground.


Searching For Mecca

Investigating the unsolved murder of Malcolm X’s grandson.


I Spent a Month Living In A Romanian Sexcam Studio

Life on the other side of the laptop.


A Teacher and Her Student

An interview with novelist Marilynne Robinson, conducted by a graduating student.


The Magic Jews

Adventures with a group of young Hasidic men looking for God in psychedelic drugs.


The Ghost Rapes of Bolivia

The Mennonite women of the Manitoba Colony would awake with blood and semen stains, dried grass in their hair, and tiny bits of rope on their wrists and ankles. Their rapists, armed with a veterinary tranquilizer converted to spray form, were eight young men from their own community.



A party game drives a woman to reflect upon a history of manipulation.

"After each killing, Claire tried to be kind—defensive of those who were accused of being the werewolf and suspicious only of those making accusations. And throughout each round Claire asked questions about how the game was played, whose answers, in all honesty, she did not have figured out. (Though again, was that the werewolf playing the game, posturing innocence even in her private thoughts? Yes, it probably was. This freaked her out.)"


The Number

Desire and dental surgery in Northern India.

His father leaned back on his hands and tilted his face to the sun. Daniel bent over his cushion. In the habit of telling The Number his thoughts, he had already begun to narrate for her his feelings about the woman."


Here Comes the White-Power Safety Patrol

Inside the White Student Union of Towson University.


Please Snort Me: An Oral History of Brooklyn's Most Notorious Bar

The story of Kokie’s, and its gentrifying Williamsburg neighborhood.


The New Roma Ghettos

On the segregation of Slovakia’s Gypsies.


Al Qaeda Wants Africa

A war travelogue through Mali alongside French troops as a “place just like Afghanistan” descends into chaos.


De Nimes

The history of blue jeans, “America’s greatest contribution to the global closet.”


Sewing For The Heart

A bag-maker takes on a medically unique client. From the new collection Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales.

"It was indeed a strange bag. The complicated shape of it was difficult to achieve. I had assembled nine different pieces of leather into an asymmetrical balloon with seven holes of varying size. The bottom of it was an oval, but the bag tapered toward an opening at the top that fastened with hooks."


On the Lam in Lebanon

The Syrian civil war crosses into Lebanon.


Death of the American Hobo

The last men who ride the rails, “where silence and lawlessness still reign.”


Relationship Story

A simple title; a complex, detailed look at the ebbs and flows of modern dating and instability.

"'I’ve never felt you act this way before,' said Michelle, unsteadily, looking down; something in her previously assured, or at least focused, was now tired and scared, the protest of it having dispersed to something negotiable or seizable. They stood not looking at each other as the rain fell on them in an idle, general insistence of somethingness. Paul felt himself trying to interpret the situation, as if there was a problem to be solved, but there wasn’t anything, or maybe there was but Paul was three or four skill sets away from comprehending it, like an amoeba trying to create a personal webpage using CSS."


Peeling Oniontown

Unraveling the layers of upstate New York’s most reclusive community.


Lost Limbs

An aimless man forms a connection with a one-armed woman.

"Our date ended on that uncomfortable accusatory note and I didn’t see Lenore again for quite some time. Occasionally I would have these little fantasies, daydreams involving Lenore and her metal pincher hand. She’d stare at me with those light eyes while we made love and that other rubber hand would lie on a table next to us, feeling left out of the action."


The Sordid Secrets of Babylon

An interview with the experimental filmmaker and Hollywood chronicler Kenneth Anger, 85.


Oh, This Is Great

On the Texas-sized trash island floating in the Pacific.


Paintballing with Hezbollah

A clandestine meeting between Western journalists and Hezbollah fighters in a Beirut strip mall.



From Lutz's new collection, Divorcer: a man mourns his deceased wife in an unorthodox fashion.

"Death didn’t have any of the detergent effect I thought I had been led to expect. Things that had looked violently dirtied before looked even dirtier now, and there was a marital malodor to our place, but make no mistake: we had been lovers, my wife and I, meaning mostly that we had coated things and people with love, had used our love to cover things up, to see to it that layer after layer got put over everything."



As part of his cover, a spy is forced to work at a big-box store called "Circuitpalooza."

"There are, I suppose, far unluckier fates than my own. I remember the botched assassination in Paraguay, the decapitated arms dealer in Slovenia, the lone orphan girl in Kuwait. However, I can’t help but feel that, as a spy, my position here at Circuitpalooza demands perhaps a little more from me than it would from most."


Interview: Karl Lagerfeld

There’s a price you have to pay for fame, and people who don’t want to pay that price can get in trouble. I accepted the idea of celebrity because of a French expression: “You cannot have the butter and the money for the butter.”

Interview: George Lois

George Lois never actually worked at Esquire, he simply designed the most iconic magazine covers of the 60s as a moonlighting gig while revolutionizing (and, generally pissing off) the advertising industry by day.


Bring It On Home

Behind the scenes with Kenny Powers, on set filming the 2nd run of Eastbound & Down, probably the only American TV series that would set an entire season in Mexico.


An Interview with William Gibson

An interview with William Gibson on the “dark, dark world of marketing, advertising, and trend forecasting.”


I Joined Three Cults Simultaneously

The author enrolls in three cults - ADIDAM, the Moonies, and Aleph (formerly Aum, who carried out the Tokyo metro Sarin attacks) - via their New York branches.


In the Land of the Juggalos

Horror-rap’s annual festival draws thousands of clown-makeup wearing Juggalos - devotees of Insane Clown Posse - for a weekend devoted to spraying Faygo soda, rioting, and discussions of the occult.