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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

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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 […]

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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 […]

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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

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

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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

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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

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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

Out of Disorder, Into Pink Vinyl

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 York Times in 2006.  I haven’t had much success with home, as a child or an adult. I’ve lived […]

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

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Tomato Pie

All of us at Tin House were thrilled to hear the news that Ann Hood’s essay “Tomato Pie” was included in the 2014 Best Food Writing collection. First appearing in our Memory issue, the essay concludes with a wonderful recipe that most of our staff indulged in over the summer. This includes Tin House executive editor […]

Posted in Essays, From The Vault

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The Crocodile Hunter

When all the other girls in our class were fawning over Justin Timberlake and Nick Carter, we were in love with a crocodile hunter.

Posted in Essays, Flash Fidelity

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A Lesson From Jane

If a modern film version of Pride and Prejudice were produced today, some of the main characters should be gay, Elizabeth and Darcy should not get married at the end, and Charlotte Lucas should be played by a tabby cat. At least, those were the conclusions made by students in a college course I taught […]

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The Tin House Podcast: How To Write A Kick-Ass Essay, with Ann Hood

Too often, when writers try to write an essay, they stumble on common pitfalls like cramming too much information into too small a space, giving too much back story, or trying to write an essay for a particular column rather than writing an emotionally true one. We all have read memoirs that take our breath […]

Posted in Essays, Podcasts, Writer's Workshop

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The Refugees

My brother turns to me. He says: I want to go home, but I don’t know where that is. I say to him, so do I. In time, I’ll repeat that line to him. He’ll agree, and we’ll order another round. Neither of us lives on the street. He lives in an apartment. I doubled […]

Posted in Essays, Flash Fidelity

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Sent Traveling

Plagued by doubt, I pick at my prose, searching for answers. If I keep scratching, the text will bleed. I stop writing. Though the novel is nearly done, a crucial element is missing and I am uncertain how to proceed.

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

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Love and Darkness: Israel By the Book

Five years ago, a stranger with an accent asked for my number. He approached me in a dark, cavernous bar in the West Village, a place known as much for its live jazz as for its cheap beer and pool tables. I had drifted away from my friends to hear the music. The band played […]

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Plotto: The Master Book of All Plots by William Wallace Cook

A pretends that a wax figure, X, is his wife

Posted in Essays, Events, Tin House Books, Writer's Workshop

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“Short Story: A Process of Revision” by Antonya Nelson

from The Writer’s Notebook II: Craft Essays from Tin House

Posted in Essays, Events, Tin House Books, Writer's Workshop

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“The Only Solution to the Soul Is the Senses: A Meditation on Bill Murray and Myself” by David Shields

from The Story About the Story II: Great Writers Explore Great Literature

Posted in Essays, Events, Tin House Books, Writer's Workshop

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“Place” by Dorothy Allison

from The Writer’s Notebook: Craft Essays from Tin House

Posted in Essays, Events, Tin House Books, Writer's Workshop

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Salinger and Sobs

from The Story About the Story: Great Writers Explore Great Literature

Posted in Essays, Events, Tin House Books, Writer's Workshop

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More With Less

Imagine the quintessential fresh-from-the-land Midwestern bounty of my Mennonite childhood and you might also imagine the quintessential spread this sort of landscape suggests.

Posted in Essays, Flash Fidelity

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Because We Share Bodies

Sometimes when I’m feeling particularly sore I treat myself to a massage. I always consider this carefully since I don’t have much cash to throw around. How much am I hurting today? Will a massage be worth the few tips I’ll make during a slow lunch shift, five hours of my life spent scooping out […]

Posted in Essays

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The Perpetual Muse

The month before I turned nineteen, I traveled to Sydney, Australia for a semester-long study abroad trip that I was convinced would be the first of many adventures. Beside me on the flight sat a fellow sophomore named Robby, someone I didn’t know but recognized from campus, where he’d breeze by on a skateboard to […]

Posted in Essays

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Dirty Words

Tin House author, Lacy Johnson responds to George Will’s op-ed column, “Colleges become the victims of progressivism”, in The Washington Post.

Posted in Essays, Tin House Books

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