LAURIE ANDERSON became a household name in 1981, when her 8-minute avant-garde monologue ‘O Superman’ became the world’s strangest-ever hit single. Anderson, now 71, is an artist whose work encompasses whatever she needs it to, from performance to music, from CD-ROM to virtual reality. Interviewed in Denmark, she discusses the dizzying breadth of her reading habits, which underpin everything she does, her useful belief in multiple realities, and the old Kindle she carries from her late husband, LOU REED.

FRANKENSTEIN by MARY SHELLEY was published exactly two hundred years ago. Two archetypes — the man­made monster and the mad scientist who created him — have been loping around in the collective unconscious ever since. To honour this incredible act of literary invention, part two of this issue presents a sequence of monsters, as fed through var­ious prisms of association, and emerging as everything from chatbots to man bags. Contributors include GEOFF DYER, JEFFREY LEWIS, JEAN HANNAH EDELSTEIN and JUSTIN E. H. SMITH.

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With cover star LAURIE ANDERSON, photographed by Mark Peckmezian in Copenhagen, Denmark.


The Interview: LAURIE ANDERSON by Emily King — ‘I’ve read martial arts books, and how-to-take-care-of-your-heart books’

Laurie’s reading list



A consortium of monsters inspired by FRANKENSTEIN; OR, THE MODERN PROMETHEUS, a novel dreamt up by Mary Shelley in 1816 and published for the first time in 1818.

Introduction: Twenty-three dreadful monsters by Seb Emina

Electropets by Amelia Tait — Grown-up Tamagotchi zealots reveal all

Freitag by Geoff Dyer — Such a useful monster

A damn cheeky chatbot by Yelena Moskovich — A charming conversation with no-one

The homunculus by Justin E. H. Smith — Alchemical recipes to grow artifical men

My child by Jean Hannah Edelstein — Trying not to spoil my little monster

Creative regret by Jeremy Allen — A playlist of regretted songs

The Facebook

That Terminator by Charlie Fox — The greatest moment in Schwarzenegger’s career

The additional terrifying exploits of Frankenstein by Jeffrey Lewis — Interjection from a comic-book artist


Next season: Aurelius time, self time


The Happy Reader is a unique magazine about reading for anyone who wishes to stay inspired, informed and entertained.With beautiful typography, the magazine is a design object which celebrates the pure pleasure of reading and the calming luxury of being offline.

Each issue is split into two halves. The first half is an in-depth interview with a book fanatic and the second half gets under the skin of one classic work of literature.


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White, Red, Green, Yellow, Purple and Blue

Read an article from issue 1 of THR, a rip-roaring expedition through the classic Victorian thriller THE WOMAN IN WHITE. Ah, the unflinching joy of monochrome dressing. But to what effect? Author EMILY KING looks into single-colour outfits in art and discovers women being pigeonholed and men revealing their identity.

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