Aaron Lake Smith

5 Unthankful Literary Treats for Thanksgiving Day

Are you proud of your unthankfulness? Do you loathe Thanksgiving? Do you loathe everything? If so, you may want to disgust yourself with this cornucopia of literary misery, ready-made for your disapproval. Thwarted romance, hatred of country, bullies, Billy Crystal: it’s all here. Enjoy it now: you won’t thank me later. … Read More

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11 Amazing Writers You Haven’t Heard Of Yet

Love The New Yorker but looking for something a little cooler, a little more youthful? Want thick, twisty fiction and high-brow commentary with an edge? Enter The American Reader, our new favorite journal of fiction, poetry, and literary criticism, which just launched this fall both in print and online. We highly recommend you check it out, and if you need a little incentive, Editor-in-Chief Uzoamaka Maduka and the other editors on her staff have picked a few of their favorite upcoming writers — both from the pages of The American Reader and elsewhere — that they think are about to hit the big time to share with you here. Check out their list after the jump, and (if you can bring yourself to share the wealth) add any burgeoning young geniuses you happen to know about in the comments. … Read More

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What Are the Zines That Changed Your Life?

It’s difficult to pin down what a zine is, exactly. A vague, unsatisfying definition would be that it is a self-published endeavor with a relatively small circulation, little to no profit, and a handmade element involved (e.g., it’s hand- or typewritten). But what about the small zines that became big, like Punk Planet (RIP), MRR, Bitch, and Dig? The cheap cover ink might’ve still come off on your hands, but they were available at big box bookstores in modest cities and suburbs. In the mid-90s, zines were even seen as a possible threat to the magazine industry. Read “I accidentally made a popular zine” in Vice to get a sense of seemingly how easy it was to get your work noticed at the time.

Nowadays, you might have to do some digging to find good zines in your neighborhood. Both Barnard and NYU have zine libraries, and ABC No Rio is always an option, as are the number of stores offering new zines like Desert Island in Williamsburg. Here, you can find copies of current local favorites, like Jocko Weyland’s Elk and Aaron Lake Smith’s Big Hands. Or better yet, you could just make your own. Here’s a look at how we survived our formative years, along with some recommendations from a few of our friends. … Read More

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We Love The ’90s: Remember When People Used Payphones?

On Friday night the New Museum and n + 1 bring you The ’90s vs. the ’90s, a panel talk that will include Michael Azerrad, Mark Greif, Emily Gould, A.S. Hamrah, Marisa Meltzer, and Aaron Lake Smith, and will examine the legacy of the decade’s pop culture touchstones — from the “Dirty Boots” video to Kurt Cobain’s suicide note to those Tickle Me Elmo dolls — on who we are today. After the jump we talk to Aaron, whose popular fanzines Big Hands have been called “an ongoing treatise on disappointment,” about the ubiquitous obsession with Generation X, the WTO riots in Seattle, and the blue hair he rocked back in high school. … Read More

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