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I find it by accident, pressed between two large volumes on the shelf. Though it has been over twenty-five years, I recognize it instantly: a mere sliver of a book, about half the size of an American trade paperback, with tan card-stock covers smudged from handling. This is my copy of Yukiguni—in English, Snow Country—by […]
Welcome to Tin House’s Bookseller Spotlight, a series of interviews with indie booksellers across the country. Up this week is Shawn Donley with Powell’s Books . Tin House Books: What was the first book you read that made you fall in love with reading? Shawn Donley: I grew up in a small town in Pennsylvania and like many small […]
I came to Tove Jansson’s work late in life and in a backward fashion. Most people familiar with the Finnish author and illustrator know her as the creator of the Moomins, a family of hippopotamus-like creatures first introduced in a children’s book series in 1945 and then adapted for a comic strip. The tales of […]
The Visit of the Royal Physician, which I cannot stop reading, sometimes even long enough to eat a yogurt, begins like so: On April 5, 1768, Johann Friedrich Struensee was appointed Royal Physician to King Christian VII of Denmark, and four years later he was executed. Why do I find this opening line—an unvarnished statement […]
As a young reader, I had a fascination with stories of the American South. Maybe it was because of my favorite English teacher, Mrs. Clark, a Georgia native who taught To Kill a Mockingbird, and whose black-rimmed glasses and gray pixie cut made her look very much like the author. Or maybe it was because […]
There are dozens of memoirs about raising children with Down syndrome, hundreds of blogs, a galaxy of status updates. But in the beginning was Angel Unaware. Angel Unaware was written by Dale Evans and published in 1953. Evans, an actor, celebrity, and writer, was married to Roy Rogers, with whom she starred in movies and […]
Reading RACTER’s poems and stories makes you feel as if you are looking at yourself from a great distance, through the lens of a cognitive system that produces meaning and comparisons mechanically, without reference to familiar combinations that make “good sense.” It’s a feeling like the one I used to have sitting in front of my computer alone, late at night, chatting with preprogrammed bots: a sort of intimation or trail that led outward, into the machine, and then, ultimately, back to myself.
Anderson Tepper on Clarice Lispector’s Near to the Wild Heart
In honor of the upcoming New Directions release of Clarice Lispector’s Complete Stories, we decided to hand The Open Bar keys 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. Today, Kim Adrian unpacks The Passion According to G.H. […]
From our Science Fair issue, Cheston Knapp on C. P. Snow’s The Two Cultures and the Scientific Revolution and John Brockman’s The Third Culture: Beyond the Scientific Revolution. I was born into a house divided. In college, Mom studied history and English, and Dad did biology. Growing up, when we needed help with our homework, […]
As you get ready for your Mad Men Weekend, we thought we’d roll out Leslie Jamison’s look at another drunkard named Don. So the plot of Charles Jackson’s The Lost Weekend goes something like this: A guy named Don gets drunk. He’s gotten drunk before. He’ll get drunk again. He drinks, passes out, wakes up; […]
As winter presses on, we offer a literary journey to the northern fjords of Spitsbergen, in hopes that you will feel warmer upon your return. This piece, written by Stacy Carlson, first appeared in Issue 49, The Ecstatic. I never doubted my vocation as a writer until I set foot in the Far North. I stepped […]
Jon Raymond on Bellow’s last novel.
I had been running away, feeling useless under the malarial symptoms of my first semester at college: alternately giddy and nauseated, my gut churning from several indigestible love affairs I’d left behind in Oregon. Sick of myself and all my self-referential classmates, I bounced restlessly around my parents’ house looking for something to moor myself […]
Alfred Starr Hamilton (1914-2000), whose poetry has just been resurrected by The Song Cave in the collection A Dark Dreambox of Another Kind, is an embodiment of a recognizable fringe, the outsider artist. The outsider, a familiar if not always friendly creature, is often little unhinged; she—I take up the feminine pronoun in honor of […]
I was twelve years old when I saw a man nearly die. At the time I lived in downtown Reno, on a city block near a porn theater, pawnshops, boarding houses, and casino lights. When I wasn’t visiting my mother in the downtown jail—where she worked—I stayed close to home, exploring and inventing and wondering, […]
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