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May Gems

Like sands through the hourglass, so are the months of our lives. It is once again time for our staff to heap praises on a few of our favorite books, movies, albums, and TV shows from the last month. Emma Komlos-Hrobsky: Sjon’s Blue Fox is everything you’d want from an Icelandic novella of menacing folk magic and […]

Posted in Desiderata, General

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Issue #64: Summer Reading

Since our first issue, back in 1999, we have prided ourselves on recognizing new voices. It has been a thrill to discover writers such as Victor LaValle, Justin Torres, and Dylan Landis, and then to watch their careers unfold and blossom. It speaks well of the current literary climate that we are continually surprised and […]

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About the Cover: Shanon Playford

The cover of our 2015 Summer Reading issue features Shanon Playford’s Nereid, a painting from her Oh My Gods! series of classical figures depicted through modern imagery. In Greek mythology, the Nereids were the fifty daughters of Doris, a sea nymph, and Nereus, the Old Man of the Sea. They were also companions of Poseidon […]

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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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An Etymology for Writers

Rowan Hisayo Buchanan is an Asian American Writers Workshop Fellow. Her prose has been in NPR’s Selected Shorts, Public Books and TriQuarterly. Her art has appeared / is upcoming in The National Academy Museum, No Tokens Magazine, and The Indiana Review.  

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April Gems

April was a great month. We paid our taxes, various people we really like won Pulitzer Prizes, and we found a plastic egg with money in it in the bushes by the office. Here are some other highlights from our staff and interns. Tony: Leave it to Jim Shepard to take the challenge of writing […]

Posted in Desiderata, General

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Dear E

From our Rejection issue, Leslie Jamison looks back on the geometry of junior high friendships. November 15, 2014 Dear E, Who were we kidding? Back then, friendship was nothing but musical chairs. You’d steal anyone’s spot if it meant you got a seat. Or at least, I would. I did. This was fourth grade. You were […]

Posted in Essays, General

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Bibliomysteries!

Antiquarian booksellers are a breed of odd, voluble people who’d seem to make better extras in a film adaptation of Dickens’s The Old Curiosity Shop than as the catalysts of anything remotely dangerous. High-end mysteries are generally dominated by the visual arts, wherein the instant recognizability of a Rembrandt or a Brueghel heralds all sorts […]

Posted in Correspondent's Course, General

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About the Cover: Oliver Jeffers

Oliver Jeffers’s The Wall is part of a series that explores the conflict between the drive to understand things beyond our comprehension and the relative ease of blissful ignorance. Jeffers mixes classical styles with modern imagery to articulate a search for knowledge that is frustrating, at times, and, often, absurd. The Wall’s comic image of […]

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Issue #63: Rejection

Rejection. Every writer faces it. Sylvia Plath was told, “There certainly isn’t enough genuine talent for us to take notice.” J. G. Ballard got, “The author of this book is beyond psychiatric help.” Papa’s minimalist prose and man’s man themes so offended one publisher one editor proclaimed, “In short, your efforts have saddened me, Mr. […]

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Literary Insults!

When Jerk-Face Isn’t Enough!

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BEST OF 2014: MUSIC

Each year, we force ask our staff to contribute a few favorites to a list of the “best” non fiction, music, poetry, film, television, and fiction of the year (with a few cheaters from years past). Whether we’re pairing local bands with our authors for events, scrounging up vinyl for the office turntable, or practicing […]

Posted in Desiderata, General

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BEST OF 2014: NON-FICTION

Each year, we force ask our staff to contribute a few favorites to a list of the “best” non fiction, music, poetry, film, television, and fiction of the year (with a few cheaters from years past). We’re kicking it off today with our non fiction picks. Check back in tomorrow for our picks for album […]

Posted in Desiderata, General

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Cheers!

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Happy Holidays

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Correspondent’s Course: Mostly Political — Books on Classical Music

I progressed, improbably, from preparing for a career as a professional violist to a position running a social justice foundation. Anyone who’s spent their formative years in music knows the training to be relentless and indelible. Ever since then, I’ve been on a quest for fiction that transmits classical music to the page. I crave […]

Posted in Correspondent's Course, General

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Issue #62: Winter Reading

“People don’t notice whether it’s winter or summer when they’re happy.” Chekhov must’ve been happy when he wrote that. And why are we happy to keep pushing that boulder up the literary hill when we know that it is just going to roll back down and we’re going to have to start all over again? […]

Posted in General

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How to Spend $2.5 K on Joan Didion!

Joan’s sunglasses sold for the price of 8% of a corvette in support of the Kickstarter campaign to make a documentary of her life and work. So far the project has raised $168,709, exceeding its $80,000 goal with 23 days to go. Visit filmmaker Griffin Dunne‘s Kickstarter page to learn more! Rowan Hisayo Buchanan‘s work has […]

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Your Weekly Forecast: Jack Gilbert

“Suddenly this defeat. This rain. The blues gone gray And the browns gone gray And yellow A terrible amber. In the cold streets Your warm body. In whatever room Your warm body. Among all the people Your absence The people who are always Not you. I have been easy with trees Too long. Too familiar […]

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A Graphic Review of Eula Biss’s On Immunity

Kristen Radtke is the marketing and publicity director for Sarabande Books and received her MFA from the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program. She writes and illustrates in New York, where she is at work on a graphic memoir.

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Horror Story at the Lonely Lake

Excerpted from The Blue Box (out today from Red Hen Press) It was a red boat and it attacked people at Lonely Lake. People would be swimming in the alcoves of the lake, and the boat would attack. It ran over people anytime it wanted to. If there was a waterskier and he fell down […]

Posted in Fiction, General

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Your Weekly Forecast: Steven Millhauser

“After all, we were young. We were fourteen and fifteen, scornful of childhood, remote from the world of stern and ludicrous adults. We were bored, we were restless, we longed to be seized by any whim or passion and follow it to the farthest reaches of our natures. We wanted to live – to die […]

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Adam Johnson Reads

That summer rain outside your window isn’t always a gentle summer shower. Sometimes it’s a storm. This is what Adam Johnson does in his artful and disturbing short story, “Dark Meadow.” In the simplest terms, the story is about child pornography. Yet Johnson, who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Orphan Master’s […]

Posted in Fiction, General

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Tin House Reels: Sophie Koko Gate

This week, Tin House Reels is excited to feature the work of Sophie Koko Gate, whose films have a unique erotic tension and the good timing of dark comedy. Gate often uses real spoken conversations to drop her characters into a world of the hyper-real, noting that translating real-life conversations into animated video involves a […]

Posted in General, Videos

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Your Weekly Forecast: James Russell Lowell

Now on the hills I hear the thunder mutter, The wind is gathering in the west; The upturned leaves first whiten and flutter, Then droop to a fitful rest; Up from the stream with sluggish flap Struggles the gull and floats away; Nearer and nearer rolls the thunder-clap,— We shall not see the sun go […]

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