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FEATURING: Andrea Long Chu, Brandy Jensen, Rona Lorimer, Cyrus Dunham, Dan Sinykin, Stephanie Wong, Ricky Varghese, Martha Southgate, Jonathan Alexander, Charles Fourier, Eberick Hashvay, Irene Silt, Elaine Hsieh Chou, Juan Cárdenas, Lizzie Davis, Katherine Hill, Chelsea Bieker, Brian Tierney, Allison Adelle Hedge Coke, Erika Meitner, Rose DeMaris, and Omotara James.
Featured Artists: Ron Miyashiro, Lloyd Kofi Foster, Yayoi Kusama, Sirkhane DARKROOM, and Gillian Garcia.
Maybe you think it’s cliché to write about love, but it’s another one of those hottest-summers-on-record and we can’t think of a better occasion than a climate emergency to finally ask the most vulnerable, risky, stupid question of all:
Do you love me?
In prose, verse, and visual art, contributors to our Summer issue step up to risk it all for this cliché. Andrea Long Chu and Brandy Jensen open up the issue with a conversation about romance and rejection. Psychoanalyst Ricky Varghese puts sex negativity on the couch. Cyrus Dunham walks us down a long hallway of childhood memories. Irene Silt meets the push and pull of sex work with a blank face. Martha Southgate admits the crush that makes her miss going to the movies. Stephanie Wong asks how we perform a labor of love in a place that hates us.
Rona Lorimer visits Cosmopolitan’s advice columnist Irma Kurtz in London to get some advice on advice. Eberick Hashvay gifts us with an excerpt from the first-ever translation of 19th-century utopian philosopher Charles Fourier’s The New Amorous World. Dan Sinykin obsesses over Danielle Steel, and Jonathan Alexander confesses even more admiration for Hervé Guibert. Chelsea Bieker invites Jamba Juice into the literary canon in a hilarious tale of teenage sexuality. Juan Cárdenas “ruins the moment” in his short story “A Red Blight,” translated by Lizzie Davis. Katherine Hill shares a motherhood fever dream, and Elaine Hsieh Chou tells a humanizing story about a sex toy in love.
The art portfolio is introduced by LARB’s Art Director Perwana Nazif, and Harmony Holiday hits play on the sound of love. The featured artists, Lloyd Foster, Yayoi Kusama, and Ron Miyashiro, as well as photographs by Sirkhane DARKROOM and Gillian Garcia, remind us that love is about kinship and devotion. And poets Brian Tierney, Erika Meitner, Rose DeMaris, and Omotara James explore longing and loss.