While Granta, the Brits' literary journal of choice, is mired in tweediness and self-absorption (the latest issue includes a piece about James Fenton, the poet, buying a clavichord), over in America they have been showing us how it should be done for some time.
McSweeney's, the pet project of David Eggers (author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius) assisted by a fresh-faced band of transatlantic wordsmiths including Zadie Smith and Jonathan Safran Foer, is a whimsical quarterly written with a freshness and exuberance that could teach some of our home-grown talent a thing or two about storytelling.
A loose collection of rants, tales and weird pictures, presented in the form of a pop-up book, junk mail or straightforward hardcover, (like this month's) depending on how the editor is feeling, McSweeney's represents artistic on-the-bog reading material of the highest order.
This month features stories from Joyce Carol Oates and Padgett Powell. The perfect way to flush out the boredom.