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An excerpt from Amber Dawn’s new book, How Poetry Saved My Life: A Hustler’s Memoir, which came out on Tuesday. How To Bury Our Dead for Shelby Tom Have you ever had to attend a Catholic or Sikh or Japanese or Irish funeral and felt a little uncertain about the cultural grieving practices? We can [...]
There are two subjects that pose near-insurmountable difficulties to any novelist who wishes to write about them with accuracy or grace: sex and God. The former is a widely recognized trap for writers, so much so that the British magazine Literary Review has, in every year since 1993, doled out an annual Bad Sex in [...]
Normally Tommy would wager in the low to mid-teens. On this night he bet 48. It was an unreasonably high number for any night, let alone during the Afghan rainy season, when an almost permanent wall of thunderstorms pounded the eastern half of the country with an angry mix of lightning, sleet, and hail. Although [...]
Hey Tin House Hoopsters, picture this as we enter the final week of March Madness! Your bracket is nearly entirely busted, but for a team or two hanging by a thread. Your favorite team is out. You won’t win the office pool, but you may still claim victory in the last game of smack talk [...]
The first time I finished reading Walker Percy’s The Moviegoer, I was sitting in Caribou Coffee on Franklin Street in Chapel Hill, ducking my college orientation. I had skipped every session that weekend to read; the final 30 pages of the book are the first time I can recall having one of those really out [...]
Welcome to March Madness at Tin House! In the back lot, Sherman Alexie strokes money J’s like he breathes air. Jess Walter shoots a rainbow jumper that is pure butter. Natalie Diaz posts you up and makes you look like a fool as she lofts a jump hook as cool as the other side of [...]
“… For Mallarmé the perfect book is one whose pages have not been cut, their mystery forever preserved, like a folded bird’s wing, or a fan never opened.” – Maggie Nelson, Bluets I have not read one of my favorite books. I’ve lied about it for years and although I no longer remember the circumstances [...]
To him, I wish I could have a matcha tea, the frothed pond scum kind from that Japanese brasserie next to the Crillon, the hotel where I found this little stuffed elephant that follows me around when I travel. Dumbelina, she’s called, a cruel nickname someone once gave me, and I love her. She was [...]
I began the email, “I am looking out my window at the snow-capped postal van and the bare branches…” I stopped; I didn’t know what sort of tree it was. Goethe, the writer of The Sorrows of Young Werther and Faust, could approximate the age of any tree from the width of its trunk. Yet, [...]
Say Jack Kerouac and you think the ultimate American road trip, but the writer’s ancestral roots actually lie in France and in 1965 he went looking for them. By that point Kerouac was a raging alcoholic. In Paris, he began days with a beer and a cognac, by evening he had deteriorated into a teetering [...]
Somehow it was decided that Scott, Chad, and me were going to kiss Beth, Kristy, and Tasha. Beth was the tomboy with short dark hair. Kristy was the one with dimples and feathered hair. Tasha was short and freckled with red hair to match. It was the last day of school. The last day [...]
To truly get away from civilization is an achievement. It is also traumatic. I once spent three weeks at my grandmother’s cabin in the Caribel mountains of rural Idaho. She had moved there from Half Moon Bay in the 80s after falling for a trucker who fancied himself a cowboy, following him into what he called, [...]
The Games We Play: Bridge
A pair of rather vulvar curlicues bracketed the words: Bitches And Sad Ladies. The cover’s red-purple color-scheme looked like something, to quote my father, “from a whore’s boudoir.” The typeface and the teal-edged pages identified the book as a relic of the 70’s. I was about to show it to my book-shopping companion, eyebrow raised. [...]
In an age of smart phones and cloud storage, few things seem more primitive than a manila folder with a slice of white paper in it, but that’s what I use to keep track of the essays I submit to literary magazines. My system is simple: one folder for each essay I’m submitting, and [...]
This is the third installment of Marcia DeSanctis’s series on three of Russia’s most influental 20th-century writers—Joseph Brodsky, Vladimir Voinovich, and Yuz Aleshkovsky. Joseph Brodsky admired Yuz Aleshkovsky greatly and made an introduction for me. His book Kangaroo, which had just been published by Ardis in the US, was by far my favorite book of 1987 [...]
This is the second installment of Marcia DeSanctis’s series on three of Russia’s most influental 20th-century writers- Joseph Brodsky, Vladimir Voinovich, and Yuz Aleshkovsky. You can read her first disptach here. Vladimir Voinovich — Silenced in 1974 in the USSR and forced to emigrate in 1980. I met Voinovich when he visited the Department of Slavic [...]
In 1986, I was a fledgling researcher at ABC News, and had all but ditched my Russian literature obsession of the last several years. The shelves in my sunless rental on West 73rd Street heaved with the volumes that had nursed me through four years of college. The weathered text of Bely’s Petersburg sat aside [...]
Featuring Jazz Cars, Prague boxers, and James Bond.
A great sprawl, stretching from coast to coast, that focuses in on writers who have made some impact on me this year.
“Fuck I was not ready for this…”
Twenty four years’ difference is the same as a day’s.
Aimee in fact tells me she is a messy cook, she needs slack from the ingredients, and likes to give them slack too.
An excerpt from Karen Russell’s Writer’s Notebook II Essay.
Plath, like no other poet, has been idolized and appropriated and taken ownership of, cast and recast by acolytes as a “suicide doll,” as her daughter, Frieda Hughes, once said. For the many years I’ve spent studying Plath, I’ve worried that I might be behaving this way, too, that even my disdain for what I see as the wrong kind of Plath groupies is proprietary in a way I have no right to be.