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© Nata Metlukh

The novelist Sam Lipsyte has been described by Time magazine as “the most consistently funny fiction writer working today.” The story below comes from his latest collection, The Fun Parts. “I imagined someone who had become ensnared in a cycle of downfall and uplift just to survive commercially, to keep his memoir business afloat,” says Lipsyte. “I didn’t want to poke fun from a distance. I wanted to inhabit the terror a little bit. But the main reason I wrote the story is because people in America always…

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