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GRANTA’S SEX ISSUE “Cecil’s notions about sex were based on the bragging of equally inexperienced friends, a crumbling copy of a porn magazine, observation of pets and misguided imaginings in general.” And who hasn’t been there, eh?

The highbrow British-American literature magazine—now helmed by onetime Weekly book-review whiz John Freeman—takes on that most universal of human subjects, sex. Contributors include posthumous glamour boy Roberto Bolaño, Jennifer Egan, Dave Eggers (who draws, not writes), Jeanette Winterson, Chris Offutt (whose story “The Blue Zoo” is excerpted above) and others. And check out the creepily evocative photos of empty porn sets. Poor Cecil wouldn’t know what to make of them.

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Scott Dickensheets

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  • An offhand touch and the plot's peculiar circumstances help lighten the sometimes dark story.

  • The author's new collection is creepy, titillating and impossible to put down.

  • Art history as a continual unfolding of ideas and forms is just one of the author's concerns.

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