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Lost & Found: Sara Roahen on Robert Farrar Capon

“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.

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Comments: 5

Lost & Found: David Gates on Dolly Freed

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 […]

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Comments: 0

Lost & Found: Hugh Ryan on Richard Halliburton

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.

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Lost & Found: Helen Schulman on Jerome Badanes

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.

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Comments: 4

Lost & Found: Jim Shepard on Maria Beig

When she debuted, with her first novel, Raven’s Croak (!), she was a sixty-two-year-old retired knitting teacher from a rural backwater.

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Comments: 1

Lost & Found: Steve Almond on Michael J. Arlen

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. […]

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Comments: 0

Lost & Found: Alice Elliott Dark on Jane Bowles

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 […]

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Lost & Found: Hugh Ryan on W.B. Seabrook

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, […]

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Comments: 5

Lost & Found: Tonaya Thompson on Sylvia Browne

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 […]

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Comments: 3

Lost & Found: Brian James Barr on Bill Lee

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.

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Comments: 0

Lost & Found: Francine Prose on Rebecca West

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 […]

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Lost & Found: Jeanne McCulloch on George Howe Colt

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.

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Comments: 7

Lost & Found: Jon Raymond on Saul Bellow

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.

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Comments: 9

Lost & Found: Karen Karbo on Carolyn See

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.

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Comments: 0

Lost & Found: Chris Beha on Mavis Gallant

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.   […]

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Lost & Found: Karl Kesel on Jack Kirby

Free Comic Book Day is this Saturday, May 5th. In case you, like me, are in the process of considering how to get the most bang for your (unspent) buck on this holiest of days, today’s Lost & Found brings a reading recommendation from super-cartoonist Karl Kesel. Here’s Kesel on Jack Kirby’s Challengers of the […]

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Comments: 6

Lost & Found: Leslie Jamison on Marcus

Two hundred years before Dante spun his poetry of the inferno, a monk named Marcus wrote his own vision of an absurd and ghoulish hell–one perhaps accessible only through the absurd and ghoulish medium of Middle English.  Here’s Leslie Jamison on “The Vision of Tundale,” weird syllables, lost infernos, and hell in translation. People enjoy […]

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Comments: 6

Lost & Found: Don Waters on Knut Hamsun

Knut Hamsun was both Nobel laureate and Nazi collaborator; the protagonist of his novel, Hunger, is both suffering artist par excellence and repellent misanthrope.  Don Waters takes on these incongruities, and the distance between the real and romanticized writing life, in this Lost & Found from our vault. In my early twenties, I was introduced to the Norwegian […]

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Comments: 1

Lost & Found: Tom Grimes on John Steinbeck

It might be a stretch to call Travels with Charley a lost book, but it’s certainly one that speaks to the tradition of getting lost in the search for America.  Here’s Tom Grimes on Steinbeck’s troubled vision of America as seen from the open road. Does any writer ever truly capture an era or become […]

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Comments: 10

Lost & Found: Brenda Shaughnessy on Laura Ingalls Wilder

Where’s the joy in a modern balloon compared to one fashioned from the bladder of the family pig? Here’s our own Brenda Shaughnessy on the “sublime humility” of life in Laura Ingall Wilder’s Little House books. I’ll start by saying I will never apologize for loving Laura Ingalls Wilder’s vivid recollections of life in pioneer […]

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Comments: 6

Lost & Found: Beth Kephart on Horace Kephart

It is “narrative adventure” as much as cultural anthropology, a book in which extraordinary historic, topographic, and linguistic details mix up with tales of moonshine, mean-minded pigs, laurel hunts, bear escapades.

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Comments: 6

Lost & Found: Whitney Otto on Isadora Duncan

I already had a Hollywood notion of Isadora: that would be Vanessa Redgrave in all her mid-1960s Blowup beauty, cavorting around Europe and Russia in what looked like a sheer tablecloth. But I had grown up in the sixties, so Isadora seemed less like an iconoclast—you know, an Independent Woman who lived for Art, believed in free love, shunned marriage, had children anyway, was politically committed—and more like one of my babysitters.

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Comments: 8

Lost & Found: Carl Elliott on Robert Helms

Guinea Pig Zero published firsthand reports on the things potential guinea pigs really wanted to know about the business of human research: how much the studies paid, how bad the food was, whether a research unit employed phlebotomists who had trouble hitting a vein.

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Comments: 11

Lost & Found: David Lehman on Charles Willefort

Tin House’s new book Hot Art examinesthe shady underworld of art theft; today’s Lost & Found from David Lehman raises the question of how to steal art that’s naught but air. Here’s Lehman on Charles Willefort’s The Burnt Orange Heresy. You can read The Burnt Orange Heresy as either a murder mystery or a parable […]

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Comments: 7

Lost & Found: Jonathan Dee on Max Frisch

In the early 1970s, the polymorphously great Swiss writer Max Frisch, renowned in this country, though not renowned enough, for novels such as I’m Not Stiller, Man in the Holocene and Homo Faber—flew to New York to embark upon one of those humiliating treks through the border region of celebrity known as the book tour.

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Comments: 0