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McSweeney’s Rare Collectibles


Dear Reader:
We once thought that digging deep into our souls would lead to a greater understanding of life. A couple seconds later, we realized that literal digging could be almost as rewarding and that the results were immediately gratifying. That’s when we rolled up our sleeves and excavated the McSweeney’s archives. You couldn’t possibly imagine what sorts of treasures we found, which is exactly the reason we delineate each item below. Here is the ultimate wish-list for any McSweeney’s reader hoping to round out their collection. This is an actual rare once-in-a-lifetime opportunity!

Items will be on sale this weekend at the McSweeney’s Pop-Up Sale (details here). The remaining titles will be on sale on our store site, starting Monday, May 12.

1. The first ten issues of The Believer
The first issue itself is pure gold. Includes essays by Jonathan Lethem, Jim Shepard, Beth Orton, Paul LaFarge, Nicholson Baker, and so much more.

2. The Future Dictionary of America (first edition)

As we look towards another difficult year, the Future Dictionary of America is more necessary than ever, reminding us that seven years is just seven years, while the future lasts forever. Keep your eyes on the prize.

The Future Dictionary contains over 1,000 definitions by almost 200 authors, including Stephen King, Jonathan Safran Foer, Kurt Vonnegut, Glen David Gold, Richard Powers, Julie Alvarez, Sarah Vowell, Billy Collins, Colson Whitehead, Jonathan Franzen, Joyce Carol Oates, Paul Auster, Dave Eggers, Aimee Bender, Michael Chabon, Jonathan Ames, and Art Spiegelman.

The book also comes with a bonus CD, the Future Soundtrack of America, featuring rare songs from R.E.M., Tom Waits, David Byrne, Death Cab for Cutie, Elliott Smith, and many others.

3. McSweeney’s Issue 5 (2000)
The cover tells it how it is: “Timothy McSweeney’s Simple Red Cover For Issue 5.” And the contributors include: Lydia Davis, J. Robert Lennon, Jason Ockert, Elizabeth Klemm, Sarah Vowell/ Ted Koppel, Ann Cummins, Susan Minot, Daniel O’Mara, Chad Willenborg, Kelly Feeney, Paul LaFarge, Paul Collins, Courtney Eldridge, Joshuah Bearman /his father, Paul Maliszewski, Steven Barthelme, RJ Curtis, Ben Greenman, Alastair Reid, Ben Marcus, Colleen Werthmann.

4. McSweeney’s Issue 11 (2003)
The cover reads: “IT CAN BE FREE” and it’s true! With contributions from Joyce Carol Oates, Stephen Elliott, Lawrence Weschler and so much more, your mind will be freed and your creative spirit, renewed.

5. McSweeney’s Mammoth Treasury of Thrilling Tales Edited by Michael Chabon (McSweeney’s Issue 10) (2002)
This guest-edited issue of McSweeney’s is exactly what the title implies. The lineup includes Nick Hornby! Michael Crichton! Stephen King! Elmore Leonard! Dan Chaon! Aimee Bender! Sherman Alexie! Neil Gaiman! Michael Chabon! Rick Moody! Jim Shepard! And more. Unlike the wooly one, this mammoth is not completely extinct.

6. McSweeney’s Issue 12 (2003)
The cover reads: “Twelve new stories from twelve new writers, unpublished, unknown, or unbelievable. Plus twenty-nine stories written in twenty minutes each. And a story by Roddy Doyle.” That same cover’s french flaps unfold partway, and with the book standing upright, reveals two eye-sized holes that the reader can look through to experience some hippo related, magic eye-style fun. We will not reveal anything more! It’s too good.

7. McSweeney’s Issue 8 (2002)
Another issue brimming with contributor talent—Jonathan Ames, Ben Marcus, Lawrence Weschler, Darin Strauss, and beyond!