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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 Tune in all week for previously unpublished and newly translated stories, as well as reviews and thoughts on her work.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

Comments: 1

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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October, 1918

As his train hurtled toward Latvia, Peter Carl Fabergé mustered an ounce of gratitude: for it was night. In this darkness, he would not see his beloved Russia disappear. They’d departed Saint Petersburg at dusk, and he’d been lucky to board. His feet guarded no briefcase, and no suitcase sat overhead. His person alone would […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Last Supper

Ted wanted to get The Last Supper tattooed right across his pale Irish ass. I told him losing Christ in the crack would be sacrilegious but he said, Jesus says light shines in dark places. His mom said she’d disown him if he did. His dad, At least now when you’re talking out of your […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Bandera

Y’all want something real. Y’all live in Austin, where autumn is one long festival weekend, and every thoroughfare is overhung with vinyl banners punched with holes so the wind can get to work, and y’all want out. Just for a weekend. Y’all want to leave behind the organic neighborhood Saturday markets and the middle-aged triathletes. […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Topaz

I teach the geology class that you go to in your dreams. I have never graded an assignment, scored a midterm. No one shows up until the day of the final exam. You must identify 3,827 types of rock indigenous to earth terrains and some space rock. That was our week five unit, which you […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

Comments: 3

Count Until Thunder

We sat on the steps waiting for the storm. Rachel spit watermelon seeds into the twilight. Lightning flashed behind a bank of clouds and I got to 10 before thunder rolled. “Hand me a slice,” I said. We slurped cold melon, searching for seeds. Juice trickled down our wrists. “Got one,” she said. “You?” I […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Adult Onset

She hung up to see her mother cannoning from the crowd, all four-foot-eleven-and-a-half of her, jaunty in her beret, her bling, her snow-blindingly new running shoes, hurrying toward them with a funny splay-foot walk that reminded Mary Rose of Maggie. Was that new?

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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When Out Looking for Antlers in Wyoming in January

When out looking for antlers in Wyoming in January, it is important to walk slow. You are not exercising, you are out looking for antlers, and antlers won’t appear to you if you are too focused on breaking a sweat. Your feet will slide on the snow where it is packed, and they will sink […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Swimsuits

Mary chose black, and I chose Baby Color. She was sunning on the dock, but her skin was still pale, paler against the black suit. If I pulled my straps down, I could find a tan line, at least something to bring home with me at the end of summer. I hated the suit my […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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