Since its inception McSweeney’s — the small, non-profit San Francisco-based publishing house founded by Dave Eggers in 1998 — has had a reputation for publishing ambitious fiction and non-fiction and crafting unusual ways to package their literary journal for its ardent subscribers and supporters. Now McSweeney’s has announced that they will release their first audio-visual issue of “bizarre, surreal, heartfelt, personal, informative, and interactive” stories.
As they explain, McSweeney’s 64 is an “immersive, riotous exploration of audio-visual storytelling” co-produced with Radiotopia from PRX (The Stoop, Song Exploder, Criminal, Ear Hustle, etc.); “a book for your ears or maybe a podcast for your eyes” that includes “nearly a dozen” booklets and books, pamphlets and posters, plus a dossier, a key chain and a “magic lantern eight-foot illustrated scroll.”
“How do stories shift as they move across mediums? How does this relate to the many forms of reading (with the eyes, the ears, the hands, through assistive technology)? For that reason, McSweeney’s has committed to making this issue fully accessible. In addition to the physical issue, we’re also producing a Descriptive Transcript, which will include transcripts of all audio, and audio descriptions of all text and images. As a result, each of the issue’s components will be available in multiple forms, to be experienced through a variety of sensory organs and accessibility tools.”
McSweeney’s is also currently engaged in a fundraising drive for the Book Industry Charity Foundation (BINC). For every subscription purchased by July 31st, they’ll donate $20 to BINC in their mission to help booksellers in their time of financial need. The special issue will be available on September 23rd to McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern print subscribers and will also be available for purchase at store.mcsweeneys.net and at bookstores.