Story Balloons from McSweeney's Quarterly Concern

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The Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives has long subscribed to McSweeney’s Quarterly Concern. Issue 53 recently made its way into our collection, and it’s unlike any we’ve had before!

A blue balloon inflated with the text, "Tolstoy is Tolstoy by Lauren Groff," printed on it.

"Tolstoy is Tolstoy" by Lauren Groff, a story balloon, from McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Issue 53

Packed in Issue 53’s purpose-built ziplock bag are seven stories printed on eight party balloons, which one must blow up to read. 

McSweeney's Quarterly Concern
A green balloon inflated with the text, "Hamzah Ad by Kima Jones" printed on it.

"Hamzah Ad" by Kima Jones, a story balloon, from McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Issue 53, may be found at the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives. 

A green balloon with a short story printed on it.

"Hamzah Ad" by Kima Jones, a story balloon, from "Hamzah Ad" by Kima Jones, a story balloon, may be found in the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives. 

"Gracing these particolored balloons are arresting new stories from Carmen Maria Machado, Percival Everett, Lauren Groff, Kima Jones, Amelia Gray, Rebecca Makkai, and Sarah Wisby. You’ll also find, alongside these inflatable stories, a vinyl-bound hardcover containing electrostatically charged new work from Lesley Nneka Arimah, Jamie Figueroa, Namwali Serpell, C Pam Zhang, and many more besides.”

-McSweeney's Quarterly Concern

A yellow balloon inflated with the text, "For Larry," printed on it.

"For Larry," a story balloon, from McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Issue 53, may be found at the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives. 

A yellow balloon inflated with a short story printed on it in all caps.

"For Larry," a story balloon, from McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Issue 53, may be viewed at the Paul D. Fleck Library and Archives. 

These balloon-stories truly are too small to read until blown up, but don’t worry! We photographed every story so everyone can read them without putting their mouths on disgusting rubber (which we ask you NOT to do). Read through all these short tales on our tumblr page, and come in to check out the rest of Issue 53 of McSweeney’s!

A golden balloon inflated with the text, "End by Percival Everett" printed on it.

"End" by Percival Everett, a story balloon, from McSweeney's Quarterly Concern, Issue 53, may be found in the Paul. D. Fleck Library and Archives.