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'The Corrections' Wonder Drug

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In Jonathan Franzen’s smash hit novel The Corrections—which just won the National Book Award—dissolute son Chip takes a club drug, finds euphoria, and has the best sex of his life. He assumes the golden caplets are Ecstasy, but later learns they’re called Mexican A. Do they exist?

A ”Is this drug for real?” Franzen asks EW, coyly. ”You’d have to ask your pharmacist.” So we did. ”Mexican A? Never heard of it,” says a New York City pharmacist who goes by Dr. Nicky. ”But it sounds similar to Viagra. Like it increases blood flow to the—you know—and then that produces a natural high.” Dr. E. Don Nelson, professor of pharmacology at the University of Cincinnati, is more direct: ”This is poetic license, the last true vestige of creativity.” Dude.