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In this elemental issue of LARB Quarterly, no. 39: Air, we aimed to look at the world from new vantage points. Writers took note of what was in the sky—the invisible pollutants and the all-too-visible police helicopters that patrol Los Angeles—and on the ways air, or breath, sustains or stifles us, the way it can bridge or divide one person from another.
Tosten Burks surveys recently published books about basketball to understand the way a new generation of writers have come to talk about the sport. Nicholas Shapiro, Kate McInerny, Matyos Kidane, and Jacobo Pereira-Pacheco offer a researched history of the police helicopter in Southern California. Meghan Racklin considers the life and imperfectly rendered image of Empress Elisabeth of Austria. Katie Kadue digs into the history of the misogynist joke. Corina Zappia considers the state of travel for single women. Lauren Collee reports on light pollution and the political implications of environmental discourse. Dan O’Brien finds symbols of life and faith in the theater. Matthew Mullins explores indie rock in what he calls “exvangelical America.” And finally, Editor-in-Chief Michelle Chihara conducts an expansive interview with the writer Lawrence Weschler. This issue features new short fiction from Susan Finlay, Evan Grillon, Rae Canaan, and Dashiel Carrera; poetry by Maya C. Popa, D. S. Waldman, Joy Priest, Emma Trelles, Danusha Laméris, and F. Douglas Brown; and art from François Tosquelles and others. Through vibrant prose, poetry, art, and fiction, Air examines life from a slightly different angle.