Issue No. 8

The actress KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS is hailed as a national treasure in not one but two countries, having reached the top of her profession in both Britain, her country of birth, and France, the country she has come to call home. She is also a voracious reader, et voila — the perfect impetus for two wide-ranging Happy Reader interviews in London and Paris.

Then, after our new best friend provides us a list of recommended reads, the issue travels west and then west some more, with Willa Cather’s O PIONEERS!, a bittersweet novel that evokes the fearful glory of the American frontier. Horseback preachers, prairie chickens, and pickled gherkins all make brief appearances in our special Nebraska-tinged section, with contributions from notable Great Plains-based writers Amanda Fortini and Clancy Martin, the comic book artist Dash Shaw, and many others besides.



Bookish chancing, autumnal murmurs, and a tale of two sit-downs with KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS



The Interview: KRISTIN SCOTT THOMAS by Eva Wiseman — A readerly assignation with an Anglo-Parisian luminary

Kristin’s Paris reads



Willa Cather’s O PIONEERS! is Book of the Season, with basement memoirs, exotic barns, the philosophy of pageants and the psychology of pickles.

Introduction: The plains are enormousby Seb Emina

Communication: Hello there! by John Self — If you’re going to shout, make sure it counts

Comic: Neighboring fieldsby Dash Shaw — Carl has news for Alexandra

Travel: Exciting, empty road by Clancy Martin — Asking directions to a fictional town

Miss Nebraska by Yelena Moskovich — Talents, pageants and the American experiment

Post-factual pioneer by Alexander Zaitchik — Alex Jones’s baffling monologues

Food: Preserverance by Bee Wilson —Pickles are gifts from our past selves, but are they good gifts?

Encounter: Willa’s wanders by Charlie Connelly — You don’t know me but I travelled a long way to meet you

A spotter’s guide to the birds and barns of Nebraska

Memory: Do not enter by Amanda Fortini — Once upon a summer in a Kansas suburb


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