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The Wild What

From our Science Fair issue, an amateur astronomer daydreams about constellations and lets her imagination run rampant. Bright star, you’re a gas!   Several centuries ago the stars reconstellated into figures more relevant to the times. The Earth had been industrializing, mechanizing, electrifying, while the stars were still trotting out swans and goats and bears […]

Posted in Essays, From The Vault

Comments: 0

Tin House Staff Rejections: Clandestine Supermarket Lobster Liberation

Just to prove we have skin (if not submissions) in the game, we asked our staff members to recall a time in their lives when they were dealt a heaping hot slice of rejection pie. To read more lengthy responses to the prompt, check out our latest issue, which is filled with sad sack tales, […]

Posted in Essays

Comments: 4

On Teaching Nicholson Baker

Why You Should Teach Two Books, Each of Which Could Get You Fired

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

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We’ll Make It

Giant hail, spontaneous combustion. I’m twelve. My mom is annoying, but I love her. I need to keep her safe, so I try to imagine all the ways she could die right now: She could have a seizure and drive into the river. A dog could dart into traffic causing us to swerve into a […]

Posted in Essays, Flash Fidelity

Comments: 0

Tin House Staff Rejections: Manic Panic Fuchsia Shock

Just to prove we have skin (if not submissions) in the game, we asked our staff members to recall a time in their lives when they were dealt a heaping hot slice of rejection pie. To read more lengthy responses to the prompt, check out our latest issue, which is filled with sad sack tales  […]

Posted in Essays

Comments: 0

Our Endless Numbered Days

It always seems to surprise readers that writers don’t have a huge amount of say in the covers of their books.

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

Comments: 0

Tin House Staff Rejections: Blow Log

Just to prove we have skin (if not submissions) in the game, we asked our staff members to recall a time in their lives when they were dealt a heaping hot slice of rejection pie. To read more lengthy responses to the prompt, check out our latest issue, which is filled with sad sack tales  […]

Posted in Essays

Comments: 1

Dear Gordon Lish

From the hot-off-the-presses Rejection Issue, here is Mitchell S. Jackson on being rejected by his onetime mentor, Gordon Lish. Jackson will join Rejection Issue-mates Paul Beatty and Ann Hodgman at the New York release party at KGB this Sunday, March 1 at 7:00pm. Dear Gordon: You know where we come from: jet trips from Paris […]

Posted in Essays

Comments: 2

How I Came to Live Here

We drove through Oakland, a desultory meander along the estuary in the warehouse district where the Port boom cranes line up in a string of white horses and the big freighters hug the shore waiting to be relieved of their cargo so they can turn around and get more on the other side of the […]

Posted in Essays, Flash Fidelity, Writer's Workshop

Comments: 0

First Catch Yourself A Squirrel

“I can get you a squirrel next week,” my accountant, Julian, said.

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

Comments: 3

Message in a Bottle / a Religious Alternative

When I was six, I developed a spiritual disorder. I started believing that someday, I would find a message in a bottle. Over the years, the condition mutated from the gnostic persuasion of a 6-year-old into a belief system more commonly found in those who have seen Jesus in their toast. The conviction broke out […]

Posted in Essays, Flash Fidelity

Comments: 0

Lost & Found: Nick Obourn on Jack Black

From our Hope/Dread issue, a look at the autobiography of a career hobo who lied, cheated, and stole his way across America. For one year, I was the only employee of a small, quiet shop in Portland, Oregon, that specialized in rare and academic books. The job had many perks: a world of esoteric information […]

Posted in Essays, From The Vault

Comments: 1

Cheers to Lacy M. Johnson

We were thrilled with yesterday’s announcement that Lacy M. Johnson’s The Other Side was selected as a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award. To celebrate the news, we thought it fitting to rerun an excerpt from her memoir that first appeared in our Memory issue. Check back tomorrow for an interview with Lacy. […]

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

Comments: 1

Guibert’s Ghost

In France, Hervé Guibert was widely recognized as a transgressive, unflinching writer who interwove fact and fiction in his various novels published through the 1980s. As part of Paris’s cultural milieu, he quickly became friends—and even lovers—with the philosopher Michel Foucault. When Foucault died in 1984, purportedly to cancer, Guibert swerved from his violent phantasmagorias […]

Posted in Essays

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Jalapeño Jelly

And what do I do with this spicy, dangerous, jelly?

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

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One of Us is a Mystery: Marilynne Robinson and the Cosmology of Perdition

Cosmology is the practice of discovering and articulating origins: scientifically speaking, the origins of the universe. But human experiences have their own murky geneses to wade through, and they deserve (or at least require) an equally diligent attention. Marilynne Robinson’s trilogy of Iowa novels – including Gilead, Home, and now Lila – offers such singular […]

Posted in Essays

Comments: 2

The Mice

I step closer and see a ball of fluffy nest material in the air filter compartment, a mix of laundry lint and leaves. Half a dozen baby mice—hairless, blind, helpless on their backs—are squirming on the hot plastic bottom of the box. Soon all the guys in the garage are peeking down into this miracle.

Posted in Essays

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Rabbit

The rabbit was an unusual gift from my grandmother. She’s a loving woman but not sentimental, and most of the gifts she’s given me over the years have been jewelry or clothing we picked out together at Nordstrom. Though I was getting to be too old for this, I began sleeping with the rabbit every night, and eventually, her soft fur wore down and became patchy, and her body flattened, and her white face grew yellow.

Posted in Essays

Comments: 1

Ghost Coda: A Rilke Pilgrimage

Spring, 2005 I stand in the doorway of the Bibliothèque Nationale reading room, the soaring sanctum before me, above me the ceiling a grandeur of opaque glass wreathed with names of great cities: Alexandria, Athens, London, Babylon, Jerusalem, Byzantium, Peking. I’m here in search of Rainer Maria Rilke. Strapped for cash, unschooled, twenty-seven years old […]

Posted in Essays

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The Bridge

Teddy has been sitting on the same brown sofa in the family room for over ten years, staring at Rita’s photograph across from him. There’s a faraway look in his droopy eyes, and from the way he stares at my wife’s photograph, I can tell he is trying to say something, but can’t get the […]

Posted in Essays

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Crab Wood

She pointed out sticks for me to pick up. The sticks needed to be long, but not too long; thick, but not too thick; and straight, without leaves. It was August in England, and although we’d had a fine summer, it had been raining all day and the sticks were muddy. I picked them up without complaining. My daughter didn’t speak much, even though the idea that we should recreate the US cover of my novel had been her suggestion. Still, I was happy to be spending time with her, because she is seventeen and I don’t get to do that very often any more.

Posted in Essays, Flash Fidelity, Tin House Books

Comments: 4

Joe Tex

I grew up indiscriminately loving all the songs that came on the radio, but it was the fact of the radio itself, the little box on the floor by my bed, that brought the music to life and made it a kind of magic for me.

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

Comments: 0

Downwind of Death: Grandma Moses

Charles D’Ambrosio’s Loitering: New & Collected Essays is out this week. To celebrate, we’re running a few of his nonfiction pieces that didn’t quite fit the book but that we adore nonetheless. This essay first appeared in the Portland broadside The Organ.  I’m not an art critic, and I’m hopelessly corny—qualifications enough to say a few words […]

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

Comments: 0

Summer of ’42

Charles D’Ambrosio’s Loitering: New & Collected Essays is out this week. To celebrate, we’re running a few of his nonfiction pieces that didn’t quite fit the book but that we adore nonetheless. This essay first appeared in The New Yorker in 2007. As a kid, I rarely went to the movies. My one memory of a summer movie […]

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

Comments: 0

The Pleasures of Difficulty

An excerpt from Peter Turchi’s A Muse and a Maze: Writing as Puzzle, Mystery, and Magic. For more information about the book and its author, be sure to click over to Fiction Writers Review for an interview between Peter and Robert Boswell. My wife has a fantasy, a desire she often expresses, which I feel […]

Posted in Essays

Comments: 2