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Dryland: An Excerpt

He laughed. He said, That sign’s just there for the guys who come in to read porn. He made quotes with his fingers when he said read.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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If The River Drops

We wonder if those fatal river rocks appeared to you as they appear to us—like molars from the mouths of giants. Your first name is Meredith, and your last name is something German-sounding that we quickly forgot. From the banks near Paradise Lodge, some of us spot the dull lampglow of your life jacket under […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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RIP Lesley Gore

Lesley Gore has a good voice, my grandpa said. Shame about her face, though. Where did I get the idea that things were better back then? Probably from my Pappy. The joke about old people goes that they don’t know how to program the VCR and can’t ever learn but Pappy loved videos, video stores, […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Scamp: An Excerpt

One of the twins has his mouth sewn shut.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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Squirrel, Leopard, Goat

In my sister’s taxonomy, our father is a squirrel. She’s eight, I’m five, and we both agree on this, although if we didn’t, she’d have the final word. Our father: Limpid squirrel eyes, a narrow squirrel face, prominent squirrel teeth. He scampers and leaps and takes small nibbles of everything, even apples. “Pure squirrel,” she […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Three Men, an excerpt from 52 Men

We are pleased to present three of our favorites of the the fifty-two sketches of “men encountered by a young woman in Manhattan” in Louise Wareham Leonard’s autobiographical novel 52 Men, out this month from Red Hen Press. 4 Richard is a student at the School of Visual Arts. I pass him one day, on my way from the […]

Posted in Fiction

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Lispector Week (Flash Friday Edition): Better Than Burning

Closing down the Open Bar’s week with Clarice, we present a freshly translated piece of Flash Fiction about a “hairy nun” who leaves the convent in search of sex.  She was tall, strong, hairy. Mother Clara had dark hair on her upper lip and deep-set, black eyes. She had entered the convent at her family’s […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Lispector Week: Covert Joy

In honor of the upcoming New Directions release of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, we decided to hand The Open Bar keys over to the Brazilian legend. Tune in all week for previously unpublished and newly translated stories, as well as reviews and thoughts on her work. Today, we bring you the previously unpublished story (!!!!!) […]

Posted in Fiction

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Lispector Week: Praça Mauá

In honor of the upcoming New Directions release of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, we have decided to hand the keys to The Open Bar over to the Brazilian legend. Tune in all week for previously unpublished and newly translated stories, as well as reviews and thoughts on her work. Kicking off Lispector week is a […]

Posted in Fiction

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Miss Me

Perimenopause, have you heard of it? I heard about it today on NPR. It explains why women go demented as they get older. They compared it to puberty, how you go into it one way and come out of it another. But instead of cue ball breasts and fecund loins this “transition,” as they call […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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About the Cover: A Hanging at Cinder Bottom

The design process for A Hanging at Cinder Bottom was as smooth as its poker-playing protagonist, Abe Baach.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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Drone Warfare

In Montana the gaping sky dazzles like a baby’s mobile above our outstretched fingers. But what’s interesting to me is how the plateaus got here, Randy says, before recounting numerous myths, beginning with UFOs that flattened out the mountains in the 60s, leaving dozens upon dozens of alien refugees that fled to Billings, Missoula, Bozeman, […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Bottoms Up

There was a noticeable buzz (and a few hoots) in the office yesterday as we learned that Namwali Serpell had been chosen as the winner of the 2015 Cain Prize. Namwali contributed one of the more memorable stories in recent memory for our Science Fair issue. “Bottoms Up” tells the story of, well………just give the first few lines […]

Posted in Fiction, From The Vault

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The First Night of the War

He couldn’t sleep.  Beside him, the woman had shrugged free of the covers.  Even in the dark, he could make out the rise of her hip and the long descent of her leg toward the blanket rumpled about her feet. The man eased himself from the bed with both hands, hushing the creak of the […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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A Hanging at Cinder Bottom: An Excerpt

The condemned man wore no shoes.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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February 22, 1944

The war had finally come. It was right above him. Yet, beyond the orange glow of the streetlamps he saw only stars in a clear sky, not the earthy shapes of low-flying planes he expected.

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Two Cowboys

 The calliope crashed to the ground. The cowboys gaped. The calliope was smoldering and shuddering and making a faint whizzing or wheezing or maybe it was a whining sound. The pipes were bent and cracked, the steam boiler badly dented. Its painted panels caved in on themselves, perverting the circus scenes once so delicately depicted […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Ain’t Like Those Other Guys

Everyone on the block knew that the longer the rat tail, the flyer the guy. Lefty’s rat tail wasn’t as long as his older brother Pedro’s but it was getting there. We all noticed. It was summer and the action started at the basketball court in front of IS 147. By then everyone had put […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Difficult Happiness: A Conversation between Jerry Stahl and Lydia Lunch

Jerry Stahl: I’m kind of a binge writer. I used to wrestle with the question: Do I have no life because I write, or do I write because I have no life?

Posted in Fiction, Interviews

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The Ostrich and The Aliens

The ostrich has its head in the sand when it hears a high-pitched noise. It looks up to see a large spherical object come in for a landing nearby. The ostrich watches as it settles to the ground, then wanders over for a closer look. The object is silver, and very shiny. It doesn’t smell […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Girls Where You Live

“Don’t eat it,” he said. “Don’t eat the pussy.” This from the man who’d shuffled in into the liquor store after me. The counter was walled in plexiglass except for the revolving window at the register, so that he and I were cooped there as though in a terrarium. It was dark out and the […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Where We Were

We spent ourselves and each other like pocket change, and we spent that, too. We weren’t supposed to be in this city, nevermind with each other. We’d ended up here on a weeklong vacation almost haphazardly, after the mutual friend who had introduced us bailed at the last minute. I said I wanted to go […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Waterless Cistern

I have a recurring dream—a vision maybe—of my breasts removed from my body and hanging in the air. Independent of everything, and of each other. Floating against the backdrop of a brilliant blue sky. They’re beautiful there, and strange, like an art gallery painting, the bright green grass below them, and the brilliant blue behind […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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Trompe l’Oeil : An Excerpt

For the Murphys, there was always the house and the idea of the house, one relatively more stable than the other.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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The Cartographer of the Universe

It does feel like the work gets harder every day. He had thought that after a few years, after a few millennia, he would be able to scoot through tasks, scoot like a worm through dirt. He thought that way at the beginning, when the work still celestial. The Cartographer of the Universe lives in […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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