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PLOTTO: THE MASTER CONTEST OF ALL PLOTS, WEEK 1 of 5

Calling all writers who are obsessed with plot and obsessives who can write a mean story. We want you!

Posted in Events, Fiction, Tin House Books

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Everyone

This isn’t one of those stories where someone has cancer. In this story, everyone has cancer. Everyone is sitting in a room with an old friend, while the sunlight fades behind a stretch of Victorians and old oaks, and the room goes dark and only the candle light illuminates their faces, and they talk about cities in […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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The Three Dreams of Mark Glass

Mark dreams of the desert: every fall his father buys instant oats and canned beans and unrolls the sleeping bags from the crawlspace. His mother fills two-gallon jugs of water and they pack the car and drive south along the river. Mark associates the changing season not with tingeing leaves, but with the bedroom warmth […]

Posted in Fiction

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Liking

My friend asks me why I like her, but I don’t know what this question means, let alone how to answer it. Liking is a fundamentally unstable state with its own laws. There are some people who I agree with in every way and yet I don’t like them at all, while there are others […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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What Becomes Us: An Excerpt

Our parents had failed five months in a row to make a baby…

Posted in Excerpts, Fiction

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Brown Dog and Gee

She wasn’t going to the hospital again, no way. It smelled like pee there and her mother always yelled at her to stop kicking her foot against the leg of the chair while they waited for the doctor. She didn’t like the hospital, despite what her dad said: “Well, for not liking it, you sure […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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1968 – 1971: A Humiliated Student

From the memoir Cockroaches, out next week from our friends at Archipelago Books. Arriving at the Lycée Notre-Dame-de-Cîteaux with the little card-board suitcase once used by my brother André, and then by Alexia, I was filled with hope and apprehension at the same time. My apprehensions were more than justified, but I never lost hope. I’d […]

Posted in Excerpts, Fiction

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Half Warrior and Weeping Woman

  There’s a girl, Cherise, pronounced sure-EEZ, in my yoga class that meets in the church every Tuesday night at eight. She used to come to class with her boyfriend, a tall guy with a beaky nose and they would stand with their arms around each other, smiling. Or he would lie on his mat, […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Fraternalia

There was a time in my mid-twenties when I came to believe that everyone in our family, including my brother Eliot, would be better off if Eliot were dead. I loved him dearly. That was not the point. Dark-haired and dark-eyed in a family of fair-haired people predisposed to good cheer, Eliot was a perfect […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Tin House Galley Club: After James

We surveyed our galley club members and here are their responses.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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After James: An Excerpt

One morning on a small harbor ferry heading to Granville Island she’d watched the boat taking its level with False Creek and felt a kind of weightlessness that seemed telling.

Posted in Fiction, Tin House Books

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Learning Paris

TODAY’S PICTURE was from the Musée d’Orsay: the bright, vaulted windows, gilded finishings, and me, smiling underneath. I thought I’d have time to see most of the museum before the kids’ school let out, but I moved too slowly among the impressionists, then had to hurry with the rest. I did stop for several minutes […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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Story Ideas That Are Not About The Girl

An optometrist who tortures his clients by giving prescriptions that are slightly off; A prose poem that compares the old Greek men on the local soccer field to Homer’s Greeks, their ancient, tan bodies darting across the green battlefield; A faceless narrator watching a pair on the beach, trying to determine if they are mother […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Young Ahab

When Ahab was an infant his mother would bathe him in seawater. They lived on Nantucket Island, where everybody lives by the sea. This comes from the sea, she said, rinsing him, this is the sea, and he giggled and sucked his fingers. And then his father’s ship came home, overflowing with oil from a […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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October in Montana

We’d been playing pretend for almost a year and he still wouldn’t go back to his life. Meade wouldn’t acknowledge he had another life at all, though he’d bring me into it in ways, mentioning how Cole seemed to like me, driving me by the ranch where he and Cole and his wife had lived […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Pleasure Kid

“You’re like a radiant corpse,” she said to the man in her bed. She had wanted to say it for days. “I know,” he said brightly, looking up from his book. He was older than she was. “I get exhausted,” he explained. “I really do. But then I get excited.” “Then you forget your body,” […]

Posted in Excerpts, Fiction, General

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What Was Your Favorite Color Growing Up

If you walked into that house you’d think you’ve just walked out of it. It always smells like toast. Toast and fertilizer. There are a lot of green plants around but none of them are alive, unless you believe plastic breathes, and the man in there does. He does tai chi after breakfast every morning […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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Jeebie Jeebie

The boyfriend’s girlfriend used to speak to him like he was a baby. She would come up to him stringing nonsense sounds together like “jeebie jeebie” or “newmoo newmoo” and hug him or pinch his cheeks. After she bought the dog, however, the girlfriend stopped talking to the boyfriend like he was a baby. Instead, […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, General

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Requiem for Bread

An excerpt from The Cathedral Of Mist (Wakefield Press) Translated by Edward Gauvin   Requiem for Bread ffff Bread should never be sliced, my grandmother says, it must be broken. And she takes the knife from my hands. I say nothing, silent in the presence of sacred words. I ask my cousin to explain. She is […]

Posted in Excerpts, Fiction

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The Cat

Coop stepped forward and stood over the bag, his head cocked. “What the fuck did you do?” From our current Summer Reading issue, “The Cat” by Jackson Tobin We tumbled into Coop’s basement through the cellar door, tracking snow and stench from the putrid Backwoods cigars Fitz was always burning, mulch and sawdust rolled in […]

Posted in Fiction, From the Magazine

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Ohio

It’s dark and this is Ohio and we are alone, you and me and oil-movers and tubs of melt-rock rotating. We’re not going to the same place or we are. You pass tankers and I slip behind you. You leave me enough space always. You’re from Illinois, I’m in limbo. You drive fast when you’re […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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Body Electric

From our current Summer Reading issue, “Body Electric” by Malerie Willens.  This person’s got a name, but let’s call her “you.” You pop into Butterwell Bakeshop after work, to huff the vapors of a thousand mille-feuilles. You eat a complimentary stub of zucchini bread from the basket on the counter while pretending to survey the […]

Posted in Excerpts, Fiction, From the Magazine

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Vacation

On vacation, I meet a man with awful bleachy hair. I am the kind of drunk that means I suck his dick while he brushes his teeth in the hotel room. He is the kind of drunk that means he grabs my tit for just a second before he passes out, mouth open, throat wet […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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3 Stories of God

38 The child wanted to name the rabbit Actually, and could not be dissuaded from this. It was the first time one of our pets was named after an adverb. It made us uncomfortable. We thought it to be bad luck. But no ill befell any of us nor did any ill befall the people […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays, Tin House Books

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Ancient Ham

Once a year the Ancient Ham crawls out of the sewer to sit on a curb and answer questions. People line up down the block. Before the Ancient Ham will answer, they have to poke it: they bring offerings—small sewing needles decorated with beads or feathers or floss.  When the Ancient Ham reaches needle capacity, […]

Posted in Fiction, Flash Fridays

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