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At thirteen, what I craved more than a boyfriend or a trim body was an aura of mystery. At a slumber party, I once captivated an audience by standing in a doorway and pressing my hands hard against the frame. When I stepped forward, my arms floated upward of their own accord. My friends had […]
Burt Reynolds can often be found in wrestling singlet or head-to-toe denim, gazing skyward and guffawing at his dizzying good fortune. He has his soulful moments, too. He likes to peer out a window, bare-chested and holding a highball. I suspect he may have been mentally preparing himself for the final photos, which display him—nude but for a ranger’s hat and cigarillo clamped between his teeth—astride a hand-shaped chair.
Was Carradine really so desperate for money or attention that he had to make nice with a bunch of rubbernecking plebs? Apparently not. He didn’t make nice at all. He sat there doing a crossword, head and eyes down, oozing hostility, daring anyone to approach.
What struck me most about Three Cities was its core philosophy, that anti-Semitism is a non-Jewish problem. “In every drop of the ocean all the attributes of the whole ocean are contained, for the ocean consists of drops,” says one of the novel’s characters, according to a Talmudic saying. Similarly, for Asch, the fate of the lowest tier of Russian society, the Jews, becomes a barometer for the viability of an entire nation. Time and time again, by screwing the Jews, Russia’s leaders end up screwing themselves.
Tom Grimes on Norman Mailer’s Miami and the Siege of Chicago
L&F: Philip Roth
Janet Finch on Samantha Dunn’s Failing Paris
Jonathan Lethem on Daniel Fuch’s Williamsburg Trilogy
Elisa Albert on Elaine Dundy’s The Dud Avocado
“Lamb for Eight Persons Four Times is not simply a recipe. It is a way of life,” Capon writes, convincing me again and again that as long as we remember to cook with economy and a full spirit, we’re going to be okay.
David Gates introduced us to Dolly Freed’s cult classic of way,-way-off-the-grid living, Possum Living, back in our first issue. We liked the book so much we ended up reissuing it. Here’s David’s original paean to Possum. I found Dolly Freed’s Possum Living (Universe Books, 1978) in the attic of the fixer-upper farmhouse I bought in […]
When, in my reading, I found hints of a gay man born in 1900 who swam the Panama Canal, crossed the Alps on an elephant, and made the first recorded winter ascent on Mount Fuji, I was determined to read every word he’d written.
Instead of the cliché of a picture-perfect Sabbath dinner disrupted by storm troopers, Badanes paints a rich and disturbing portrait of an already tattered family further unraveling as it faces annihilation.
When she debuted, with her first novel, Raven’s Croak (!), she was a sixty-two-year-old retired knitting teacher from a rural backwater.
We’re back today from the Tin House Writer’s Workshop and feeling a bit like kids fresh off the bus from summer camp: smarter, braver, and already wistful for the quesadillas in the Reed cafeteria the time we spent immersed in this thing we most love with some of our favorite people who love it, too. […]
Alice Elliott Dark offers a masterclass on Jane Bowles’s short story “A Stick of Green Candy” in this Lost & Found from Tin House #12. It is hard to write well about children. Most often, we portray them as prototypes of ourselves; we trace who we are back to that smaller version of us, the […]
Hugh Ryan introduces us to the zombie’s first cameo in American literary consciousness–and to an author whose life story rivals that of the undead for drama–in this Lost & Found on adventurer, occultist, and discerning cannibal W. B. Seabrook’s The Magic Island. I’m a sucker for a good monster-origin story. What’s Cujo with the rabies, […]
Tonaya Thomspon proffers a vision of Sylvia Browne, said psychic’s 500-year-old “Aztec/Inca” spirit guide Francine, and her best ghost hunting advice (“NO ALCOHOL OR DRUGS BEFORE OR DURING TRANCE.”) in this Lost & Found from Tin House #47: The Mysterious. I discovered Sylvia Browne in the early nineties, after dropping out of my first try […]
Baseball is no place for freethinkers, which is why Bill Lee never fit in. Unafraid to voice his opinions, he called George Steinbrenner “a convicted fellow” and said the Oakland A’s were “emotionally mediocre.” He told reporters he sprinkled marijuana on his buckwheat pancakes.
Francine Prose has been gracing the pages of Tin House for as long as we’ve had had pages to grace. This Lost & Found on Rebecca West’s A Train of Powder appeared in our inaugural issue. Catch Prose’s latest dispatch for us, a Lost & Found on Annie Ernaux,in our new summer issue. If Rebecca […]
These things would be easy to parody, but, distinctively, The Big House is a brave celebration of family. I want to say brave, because, speaking as one myself, it’s hard not to sound clichéd and satirical about that particular brand of American, the Northeast WASP. Though as a breed they’ve had their day in the literary sun, at the hands of such masters as John Cheever and Robert Lowell (who famously coined the term “Mayflower screwballs” in one of his poems), their struggles often appear as those of loafers in loafers, a repressed gang of lock-jawed yacht-clubbers with drinking problems and names like Buffy.
The Bellow that emerges here is a surprisingly mellow guy, almost chastened with age, still disinterested to the point of subtle racism and misogyny in the world outside his class, but capacious within the folds of twentieth-century Jewish experience.
Carolyn See writes about California in a way that gets to the heart of a native: what it’s like to drive down Wilshire Boulevard on a foggy midnight. The preternaturally cheerful Brentwood matrons who live to play tennis and have the current PC bumper sticker on their Mercedes station wagon.
Chris Beha introduces the work of Mavis Gallant, a writer whose short stories are reliably sublime, in today’s Lost & Found from the vault. Read more of Chris’s own most excellent prose (if we do say so ourselves) in his debut novel, What Happened to Sophie Wilder, out from Tin House Books this June. […]