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Re: Clients

The emails don’t stop coming, like water torture. One two, one, one two three, ten all at once that a filter should have caught except for some developer’s typo, one, one two seven, on and again and more until she looks up and realizes it’s been 47 minutes and she hasn’t gotten shit, not from […]

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Wasps

The year we lived in the attic of your parent’s apartment, the wasps moved in. You were renovating like always, and there was a hole in the house where you were turning a porch into a room, and so the wasps came. Flying through the kitchen, while I poached us eggs. I soon became friends […]

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The Couplet

We drank together for a sonnet’s worth of years. Our bible invited toxic ablutions of thirst, tumblers full of prayers. It seemed like nothing could ever be consumed enough. But that’s the boring part of the story. She was the girl with a dark smudge on her cheek. When we were children, we dug up […]

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It’s Only Been Me, All This Time

There was this girl, a friend. I like her, she’s cute. She was into this guy at a party. She pointed him out then huddled in a little circle with her two friends I’d just met, over by the Christmas lights. It was like they were going to draw a pentagram on the floor, and […]

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Take Five Hundred New Nightmares

This is how to make a piece of hell. The other pieces require assembly, but our part is the least we can do. Then there’s assistance, like Howard Lord and his eerie noise music. The kind that’s good when you put it on for yourself but scary when someone else plays it for you. We’re […]

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How To Breathe Without Thinking About It

  I guess Tim was right when he said I had it coming. If anyone were going to end up on their way to the stomach of the largest rhinoceros that ever could have lived, it would be me. I didn’t have the best intentions. I honestly thought it was a dinosaur. I even said […]

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Tin House Galley Club: Rabbit Cake

Tin House invited a select number of early readers to read advance copies of Annie Hartnett’s RABBIT CAKE–here’s what they had to say.

Posted in Fiction, From Tin House Books

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Under Glass

The evening’s downpour still hadn’t ended, and by the time Viktor picked me up, the streets were abandoned except for a few lonesome figures tucked under awnings and into doorways. The boulevard gleamed under the streetlamps. Viktor’s mood must have been affected by the weather, because as he drove me to his apartment, his windshield […]

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Rabbit Cake: An Excerpt

I had to meet with the Beaver Elementary guidance counselor for twenty minutes every week, school policy in the death of a parent.

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As Much as She Needs

The One-Eyed Man, out today from Viking, centers on a middle-aged man named K. who, after his wife passes away, loses his ability to process metaphor, becoming so wedded to the notion of literal fact and is so dedicated to unmasking lies and delusions that he provokes strangers and friends alike. When he intervenes in an […]

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Feels

There’s this new app called uFeelMe, but instead of a photo or video or simple line of text, it disseminates actual feelings, feelings users have uploaded to a catalogue of Feels, available for consumption by friends, family, vague outer reaches of massing social networks. “uFeelMe cuts to the heart of what sharing online is,” says […]

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Great Men

Ranging between lively readings in the homes of Moscow’s literary elite to the Siberian Gulag, Julie Lekstrom Himes’ Mikhail and Margarita (Europa editions) recounts a passionate love triangle while painting a portrait of a country whose towering literary tradition is at odds with a dictatorship that does not tolerate dissent. The following excerpt portrays a meeting between Mikhail […]

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The Last Summer of Our Youth

Early that June, some new neighbors moved in just up the road and built a house around their trailer. We spied on the old couple until their house was done. We watched them start to collect things like tires and rusty chairs in their yard. When the swampy area behind our own house dried out, […]

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You Have to Pay for That

  I was walking in a shop and touching sweaters: beige, oatmeal, linen, eggshell. All the colors that make people feel like they should say things like, “I would’ve spilled coffee on that yesterday. You are so brave.” As if not caring about spills and knowing how to use bleach correctly was some real purple […]

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Birth

It was a kind of turning. For months it waited for the right conditions—a full moon or a drought—before waking up. Lodged under skin and muscle, it slept there with its feet braced against the bottom ribs. Sometimes it woke up for a minute and kicked at all the insides until shit poured out, but […]

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Swimming Lessons: An Excerpt

Gil Coleman looked down from the first-floor window of the bookshop and saw his dead wife standing on the pavement below.

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They Tell Me I’m Lucky

At the Shiva, people tell me I’m lucky. They say they know someone, who knew someone, who met a woman in the meat aisle, whose fingers they grazed while reaching for the number dispenser. Who looked up horrified. Whose eyes flashed, not with, I didn’t mean to, but with something like wonder electrified. A woman […]

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Beautiful Venom

The jester spider (Venenum beatus) moves sufficiently fast that we cannot perceive it. As humans have proven too large for it to digest, the jester spider always flees before a foot can tread upon it in the backyard or a finger can corner it in an old work glove. Sometimes, however, it will mistake a […]

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Tin House Galley Club: Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan

Tin House invited a select number of early readers to read advance copies of Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan–here’s what they had to say.

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Nine Folds Make a Paper Swan: An Excerpt

Every night as I lay in the scut of my Montague House bed, I tried to picture my mother’s face.

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Clock

My grandmother had a mechanical wall clock powered by weights. To wind it, she pulled down one of the weights, and for the next twelve hours, the clock ticked off the lengths of the chain as the counterbalance forced it back up. When I spent the summers with my grandmother on the Karelian peninsula, my […]

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Freebird: An Excerpt

Freebird is out now from Graywolf Press.  Jon will be reading this Friday (January 20th/7:30) at Powell’s City of Books. You could always get unmarried in life. You could switch jobs. You could get fat and turn around and get thin again. You could change your haircut a thousand times. But there was one thing […]

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I Lived in Los Angeles

  I don’t know the people I live with very well because we rarely talk beyond one-sentence exchanges, so when I walked down the stairs and saw the Mrs. and Mr. in a hot tub, I thought it couldn’t get much worse, but it did because she didn’t have a top on. So I said, […]

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Intruders in Ms. Hansen-Knudsen’s Class

  1. THE UNBORN Ms. Hansen-Knudsen was the most beautiful woman on earth, so her second-grade class was not surprised when the two chicks emerged fuzzy and so plump, and calm-seeming, and sunshine yellow: perfect. For a time their little chirps floating out from the pouch Ms. Hansen-Knudsen made in her blouse were enough to put […]

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Aquabot

Since Kurt didn’t relate well to living things, his sister Val got him an Aquabot for his birthday. It arrived from Amazon in an oversized box that held an ordinary glass fishbowl, a green plastic shark and an extra card of button batteries. “Activates when submerged in water,” the directions said, so Kurt filled the […]

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