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2012 Titles from Tin House Books
This year Tin House Books brings you wistful ruminations on things lost, moving and dark explorations of mental and psychical illness, harrowing tales from asylum seekers, and, of course, art thieves. With so many great things coming out, we could not be more excited for the year ahead.
We are proud to present our 2012 titles. Keep an eye on our website for more to come.
A novel by Alexis Smith, January 2012
Isabel is a single, twentysomething thrift-store shopper and collector of remnants, things cast off or left behind by others. Glaciers follows Isabel through a day in her life in which work with damaged books in the basement of a library, unrequited love for the former soldier who fixes her computer, and dreams of the perfect vintage dress move over a backdrop of deteriorating urban architecture and the imminent loss of the glaciers she knew as a young girl in Alaska.
Glaciers unfolds internally, the action shaped by Isabel’s sense of history, memory, and place, recalling the work of writers such as Jean Rhys, Marguerite Duras, and Virginia Woolf. For Isabel, the fleeting moments of one day can reveal an entire life. While she contemplates loss and the intricate fissures it creates in our lives, she accumulates the stories—the remnants—of those around her and she begins to tell her own story. Watch the trailer here.
A novel by Gwenaëlle Aubry
Translated by Trista Selous
Intoduction by Rick Moody, February 2012
No One is the portrait of a man without a true self; a one-time distinguished lawyer and member of the Paris bar who imagined himself in many important roles—a procession of doubles, a population of masks—who became a drifter and frequent visitor to mental institutions. Moving between the voices of daughter and father, this fictional memoir in dictionary form investigates the many men behind the masks, and a unified portrait evolves. A describes her father’s adopted persona as Antonin Artaud, the poet/playwright; B is for James Bond; H is for homeless; and, finally, Z is for Zelig, the Woody Allen character who could transform his appearance to that of the people around him. Letter by letter, Aubry gives shape and meaning to the father who had long disappeared from her view. The whole is a beautifully written, vivid exploration of a particular experience of mental illness and what it can reveal more generally about human experience.
Hot Art: Chasing Thieves and Detectives Through the Secret World of Stolen Art
By Joshua Knelman, March 2012
Hot Art traces Joshua Knelman’s five-year immersion in the shadowy world of art theft, where he uncovers a devious game that takes him from Egypt to Los Angeles, New York to London, and back again, through a web of deceit, violence, and corruption.
With a cool, knowing eye, Knelman delves into the lives of professionals such as Paul, a brilliant working-class kid who charmed his way into a thriving career organizing art thefts and running loot across the United Kingdom and beyond, and LAPD detective Donald Hrycyk, one of the few special investigators worldwide who struggle to keep pace with the evolving industry of stolen art. As he becomes more and more immersed in this world, Knelman learns that art theft is no fringe activity—it has evolved into one of the largest black markets in the world, which even Interpol and the FBI admit they cannot contain. In this battle, the thieves are winning.
Sweeping and fast-paced, Hot Art is a major work of investigative journalism and a thrilling joyride into a mysterious criminal world.
A novel by Alberto Barrera Tyszka
Translated by Margaret Jull Costa, March 2012
Introduction by Chris Adrian
Dr. Miranda is faced with a tragedy: his father has been diagnosed with terminal cancer and has only a few weeks to live. He is also faced with a dilemma: How does one tell his father he is dying?
Ernesto Duran, a patient of Dr. Miranda’s, is convinced he is sick. Ever since he separated from his wife he has been presenting symptoms of an illness he believes is killing him. It becomes an obsession far exceeding hypochondria. The fixation, in turn, has its own creeping effect on Miranda’s secretary, who cannot, despite her best intentions, resist compassion for the man.
A profound and philosophical exploration of the nature and meaning of illness, Alberto Barrera Tyszka’s tender, refined novel interweaves the stories of four individuals as they try, in their own way, to come to terms with sickness in all its ubiquity.
Welcome To Paradise
A novel by Mahi Binebine
Translated by Lulu Norman
Introduction by Anderson Tepper, April 2012
Mahi Binebine’s courageous novel takes place in Morocco, where seven would-be immigrants, pulled by the dream of a better life, gather one night near the Straight of Gibraltar, the ten-mile-wide waterway that separates Europe and Africa, to wait for a signal from traffickers that it is time to cross. While they wait, their stories unfold: Kacem is an escapee from the civil war in Algeria; Nuara, with her newborn child, hopes to find her husband, who hasn’t been in touch for months since moving to France; and Aziz, the young narrator, and his cousin Reda are severed, in different ways, from their families in southern Morocco. They all share a longing to escape and a readiness to risk everything, but the only person who can help them is Morad, a fast-talking ex-con. Welcome to Paradise delves into a world that most readers know only from stories on the nightly news, delivering a compassionate glimpse into the difficulties facing asylum seekers and a striking portrait of human desperation.
A novel by Leni Zumas, May 2012
Hypnotic and profoundly disquieting, The Listeners is the story of a woman whose life is shaped by tragedy. Thirtysomething Quinn is the survivor of a fractured and eccentric childhood marred by the death of her younger sister. Twenty years later she is in the midst of a decade-long slide down the other side of punk-rock stardom after her successful music career was abruptly halted. Sassy and smart, tough but broken, Quinn is at loose ends. She develops unique strategies for coping, but no matter what twisted tactic she conjures to keep her psyche intact, the past won’t stay away. Leni Zumas portrays a world twisted on its axis by loss, in all its grotesque beauty. From the first line the prose is glorious: pricklingly honest and hallucinatory, a lucid dream world realized. Marking the debut of a major American writer, The Listeners is about what lurks in the shadows and what happens when what’s lurking insists on being seen.
Charlie Blakeman is living in New York, on Washington Square, struggling to write his second novel and floundering, when his college love, Sophie Wilder, returns to his life. Sophie, too, is struggling, though Charlie isn’t sure why. They’ve spoken only rarely since falling out a decade before. Now Sophie begins to tell Charlie the story of her life since then, particularly the days she spent taking care of a dying man with his own terrible past and the difficult decision he presented her with. When Sophie once again abruptly disappears, Charlie sets out to discover what happened to Sophie Wilder.
A novel by Jim Krusoe
There’s a war going on between the earth and the sky, but that doesn’t stop Parsifal, a humble fountain-pen repairman, from revisiting the forest where he was raised by his mom, a woman with a taste for Victoria’s Secret lingerie. On his journey, Parsifal, a wise fool if there ever was one, encounters several librarians, a therapist, numerous blind people, and Misty, a beautiful woman who may well be under the influence of recreational drugs.
Head-spinning and hilarious, Parsifal is a book like no other about the entanglement of the past and present, as well as the limitations of the future.
A novel by Adam Braver, August 2012
Melding facts with imagination, Misfit is centered around the last weekend of Marilyn Monroe’s life, which, wanting to get away from the stress of a lawsuit filed against her by Twentieth Century Fox, she spent at Frank Sinatra’s resort, the Cal Neva Lodge, in Lake Tahoe. Using this weekend as a springboard, the novel explores moments throughout Monroe’s career when, faced with various opportunities, she altered her persona—from her days as a child, to her marriages with Joe DiMaggio and Arthur Miller, to her studies with Lee Strasberg at the Actors Studio, and, finally, to her role in the film Miller wrote for her, The Misfits.