“El Huge” reveals how small-town, small-time teens can accomplish Big Ugly Things on their own.
“Big Girl” chronicles the media’s fascination with the towering anxieties of a sixty-foot tall teen. “The Pill,” the collection’s previously unpublished centerpiece, celebrates a “miracle cure” for obesity that sends society to a grimly delightful new utopia. “With Such People in It,” also new to readers, welcomes us to a brave new world where cowardice is a virtue. “Gone with Gone with the Wind” is a nonfiction analysis of privilege, denial, literary classics, and personal honesty. “Afterimage” is a one-way trip into a VR world that’s more “real” than our own. Also included is “Guts,” which is about just what its title suggests, as well this volume’s characteristically frank and thought-provoking Outspoken Interview.