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Since 2008 whenever I’ve taught bored teenagers and I sense I need to wake them up, or entice them to believe that literature can be exciting, I go straight to a rapturously written excerpt from Peter Orner’s extraordinary novel The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo. (A taste: “Her cheeks sag off her face like grocery [...]
And finally the tragedy. The boy’s parents selected a wooden casket with fine grained eddies streaking its polished sides, ready to be lowered into a family plot when they found him.
“It won’t be enough to seal the outside doors, or even all the apartment doors,” Gerrit told everyone. “We have to do that, and more.” He told them how they did it in Amsterdam, how they needed to build layers of defense. “This is how it’s done,” he said. “This is what we need to [...]
We discovered the house’s beating heart when Margaret poured the dregs of her papier mâché project down the kitchen drain.
Khufu’s funeral ceremony is in progress. This is the ninth time since Christmas vacation. Maryanne and Louisa carry Khufu’s organs into the middle of the auditorium in a big plastic container. The organs are really just oranges and apples and grapes, fruits that get slimy the longer they are left out. Earlier that morning we [...]
In the garden he has trained roses through the frames of medicine trolleys and up stairwell cages made to thwart patient suicides. From the trees he hangs emergency eyewash stations filled with water, and seed dispensers that were once miniature incinerators mounted in every ward for the quick disposal of tainted materials. Sometimes he sits [...]
Welcome to the inaugural Tin House Podcast: Nooner Edition, a bi-monthly burst of poetry and story telling culled from our Summer Workshop reading series. On today’s Nooner, Jodi Angel reads from “Firm and Good” which Tin House was luck enough to publish twice. First appearing in our 2013 Summer Reading issue, it is also featured in [...]
The Revolution of Every Day – Coming Soon!
We had just gotten naked and blazed up, and we were feeling maybe one-quarter ecstatic. Nobody had eaten any refined sugar or wheat for weeks; half of us ate like primitive hunters, and the other half like gatherers. We stood in the cross-hatch-fenced backyard, amidst waist-high grass and cornflowers, and embraced like brothers and sisters, [...]
Autumn when the sycamores turn we find ourselves on Earl Drabble’s field having taken up what armament is to be scavenged along the dirt road.
We were waiting for the mudslide and the night.
Very Short Shorts by Matthew Sharpe!
1979 We sit on the benches and watch the buses unload. Cort, Voss, and me. We’re high school seniors, at long last, and it’s the privilege of seniors to take up these spots in front of the dormitories, checking out the new bodies and faces. Boys with big glasses and bangs in their eyes, girls [...]
At first I thought maybe it was me, some dark cloud of dying that was hanging over my head, but when Shirley and I sat there on the embankment and I tried to convince her of things before the sun went down, she told me that there was never any rhyme or reason for death [...]
In the blue of early morning, hours before the arrival of the Chinese boys, Julia Sampson felt her sleeping husband flush with heat and knew that he would stir. She left his body enough space and stroked his arm and chest. Sometimes this worked to cool him. His head rocked against his pillow and he [...]
They closed down the Hamlet on Sunset last night. That old plush palace, place where Dean Martin drank himself to death on Tuesdays…
An excerpt from Our Secret Life in the Movies, a collaborative work by Michael McGriff and J.M. Tyree featuring paired stories that respond to cinema classics. ggg At the Rest Stop, an Hour South of the State Prison, Interstate 5 After Vagabond by Agnès Varda The woman has the hood of her ’85 Jimmy propped [...]
An excerpt from Our Secret Life in the Movies, a collaborative work by Michael McGriff and J.M. Tyree featuring paired stories that respond to cinema classics. 12D After Harlan County U.S.A. by Barbara Kopple My mom’s boss wore garlic around his neck to ward off vampires. At work, they researched how the mining companies destroyed [...]
An excerpt from Our Secret Life in the Movies, a collaborative work by Michael McGriff and J.M. Tyree featuring paired stories that respond to cinema classics. Tuna After Mon oncle Antoine by Claude Jutra Everyone was frothing at the mouth for Reagan, and I slept comfortably in the arms of his rhetoric, beating my tin [...]
In the backseat the sister, who will one day become a sodden wife occupying the largest house in a college town, hits her younger brother. He reacts without thinking and punches her back: one solid thump on her gingham thigh. Indignation, stronger because it is unjustified, singes the sister’s pale complexion. Although she is in [...]
Julie found it a nice distraction from death to fixate on her engagement ring.
The young nurse, in seafoam green, asks me to rate my pain on a scale from 1 to 10.
Flash Fridays: The dress shrugged, a very Italian shrug, and then, almost causally, one sleeve rose as if to slit the seam in the other.
She called my father at work. “I don’t know if we’re downwind. Are we downwind?”
“Do you have a mask?” she asked.