Ted Nash's Sidewalk Meeting

Popular Music
New Insight From Punk's Left Wing

Hedwig and the Search for Romantic Competition

Deborah Voigt Sings Salome

Summer Distractions in the Big Apple

... and more, in the July/August Preview.

In Post & Riposte:

Chain Bookstores
Are places like Barnes & Noble and Borders enriching—or impoverishing—American literary culture? Weigh in on Brooke Allen's article.

Mad Poets
Is there a connection between creativity and insanity? Join a discussion on Alex Beam's article about three poets, a mental institution, and the cachet of madness.

See the complete forum index. THE ATLANTIC MONTHLY | Volume 288 No. 1 | July/August 2001
Articles below with headlines in turquoise may be viewed online, while those in gray are available only in the print edition.

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July/August 2001 cover 77 North Washington Street by Michael Kelly

In This Issue

Letters to the Editor

INNOCENT BYSTANDER: Customized Quarantine
by Cullen Murphy

Notes and Dispatches
Paris: A French Fourth by Charles Trueheart
Bloomington, Indiana: Fouled Out by Eyal Press
Peshawar: The Counterterrorist Myth by Reuel Marc Gerecht
Singapore: Love, Singaporean Style by Joshua Kurlantzick
Tybee Island, Georgia: The Colonel and the Bomb by Bill Donahue


Mark Twain Returns
Who was that exotic stranger in the benighted town of Deer Lick, Missouri? And by what means had he arrived? The answers are in "A Murder, a Mystery, and a Marriage," a story written for The Atlantic by Mark Twain 125 years ago. [At the request of the Twain archive at the Buffalo Library, this article is unavailable on the Web.]

In his foreword ("Mark Twain's 'Skeleton Novelette'") and afterword ("Mark Twain's Reconstruction"), Roy Blount Jr. describes the peculiar genesis of the story—and explains how it reflects an important turning point in Twain's career.
Mark Twain in The Atlantic Monthly: Mark Twain on slavery, ethics, travel, and telephones. A Web-only sampling of his writing in The Atlantic Monthly.
Graham Greene's Vatican Dossier
Newly revealed documents portray the Pope's censors as literary critics
by Peter Godman

The Mad Poets Society
Plath, Lowell, and Sexton, and the mental institution they shared
by Alex Beam

A Reader's Manifesto
An impassioned attack on the pretentiousness of American literary prose
by B. R. Myers

Biker A poem by Ted Kooser [with audio]
Lily and Bronze A poem by Mark Doty [with audio]
World A poem by Talvikki Ansel [with audio]
Show-and-Tell A short story by George Singleton

Literary Lives A drawing by Edward Sorel
[At the artist's request, this drawing is unavailable on the Web.]


Pursuits and Retreats
TRAVEL: Real Places by Emily Hiestand
GARDENS: Liquid Refreshment by Stephen Budiansky
SPORT: Field of Tin by William Zinsser
FOOD: Sausages, Souse, and Shandybookers by Corby Kummer

Books and Critics
Two—Make That Three—Cheers for the Chain Bookstores
by Brooke Allen

A Harrowing Mirror of Loneliness
The Collected Stories of Richard Yates, reviewed by Stephen Amidon

The Tabloid Habit
I Watched a Wild Hog Eat My Baby! by Bill Sloan, reviewed by Caitlin Flanagan

David Uhlin on Veeck—As in Wreck by Bill Veeck
Stewart O'Nan on The Hunters by Claire Messud
Brooke Allen on Noblesse Oblige edited by Nancy Mitford
Elizabeth Judd on Simone Weil by Francine du Plessix Gray
Allen Buster on The Geometry of Love by Margaret Visser
Juliet Barker on The Flight of the Maidens by Jane Gardam
David Uhlin on Babe in Paradise by Marisa Silver
Barbara Wallraff on A Theory of Relativity by Jacqueline Mitchard
Christina Schwarz on The Dog Who Spoke With Gods by Diane Jessup
Christina Schwarz on The Constant Nymph by Margaret Kennedy
Christopher Hitchens on Fairness by Ferdinand Mount

Wharton's Sharp Eye
Edith Wharton: Collected Stories, reviewed by Margaret Drabble

MUSIC: In Glass's House by David Schiff

The Puzzler by Emily Cox and Henry Rathvon

Word Fugitives by Barbara Wallraff

Cover drawing by Mark Summers.

All material copyright © 2001 by The Atlantic Monthly Group. All rights reserved.