Tin House
Rehab

America has always been the land of invention and reinvention. We hold on to the belief that people forged in the fires of misadventure or tragedy or just plain stupidity can save themselves if they are willing to accept responsibility for their misdeeds and make amends. But can we ever truly hit reset, go back to a pure state? The search for lost innocence has fueled many a quest, both personal and artistic. In this issue we explore some of the ways in which we try to restore the mind and heart. Leslie Jamison, in her essay “Confessions of an Unredeemed Fan,” explores her fascination with the trainwreck life of Amy Winehouse as well as her own battles with the drug that consumed the late pop star. In “The First Wife,” Aimee Bender reimagines and rehabilitates Bluebeard, while Alyssa Knickerbocker draws on the strength of Rogue, Jean Grey, Psylocke, Storm, and Jubilee (duh, the female X-Men) to return her power postpartum. Is there any redemption for hospital food? Jenni Ferrari-Adler makes the case in her Readable Feast. And former Tin House New Voice Jenn Shapland returns with “Illness Is Metaphor,” about the history of consumptives who sought European-style nature cures in the pure New Mexico mountains. The poets will break your heart with their struggles, from pills and booze to blood and the religious ecstatic. Elissa Schappell argues that this country wants to shift back to a fantasia Happy Days ’50s, while Peter Crabapple’s photos document rural Vermont reenactors portraying German and Soviet troops on the Eastern Front during World War II. Hardly innocent or pure, the subjects are transported back to a state of intense clear feeling, theirs and also not quite their own, and just for a moment. Yet, sometimes that is enough. We hope that while reading this issue you have more than a few moments of true feeling. Or maybe one pure, bright moment of clarity that makes you forget all of the darkness.

Current Issue #71

Rehab

Contents

Jennifer Tseng

TO DRINK FROM THE LION’S MOUTH · Tabitha came home from kindergarten and demanded to know what “passive-aggressive” meant.

Aimee Bender

THE FIRST WIFE · Shortly after we were married, my husband gave me a ring of keys to the castle.

Rita Bullwinkel

DECOR · There was a period of my life in which my primary source of income came from being a piece of furniture.

Ariel Djanikian

A SPOT IN THE PINEWOOD · My sister was born when I was three years old. I don’t remember life before her, which is my loss.

J. P. Gritton

WYOMING · I’ll tell you what happened and then you can go ahead and decide.

Kaveh Akbar

AGAINST DYING · AGAINST HELL · EVERY DRUNK WANTS TO DIE SOBER IT’S HOW WE BEAT THE GAME

Jerry Williams

MY LITTLE PROBLEM

Peter LaBerge

RELIQUARY (AUGUST) · APHELION

Marie Howe

FRAGMENT: HOLY SATURDAY · MAGDALENE: AT THE GRAVE

Dorothea Lasky

GHOST FLIGHT TO THE MOON · THE DREAM · WINTER PLUMS

Brandon Courtney

LAZARETTO · AFTERWORLD

Leila Chatti

SARCOMA

Leslie Jamison

CONFESSIONS OF AN UNREDEEMED FAN · Her fans loved her as long as she broke down so they could watch.

Alyssa Knickerbocker

X-MEN · I wasn’t supposed to be having a baby. I was supposed to be writing a novel.

Meehan Crist

METHODS · I have begun to think that the human head is not the safest place to house the human brain.

Amy Bloom

THE CAR WASH OF THE DEAD · Not every dead person goes through the car wash. Not everyone needs to.

Peter Crabtree

ON THE EASTERN FRONT · Mary Ruefle introduces these haunting portraits of World War II reenactors.

Kara Thompson

INJURY AND INVITATION · Once disability becomes a time-sequenced narrative, one tends to sentimentalize it.

Jenn Shapland

ILLNESS IS METAPHOR · I moved to New Mexico in June 2016 with my partner, and at the time I didn’t think of it as a cure outright.

Sarah Manguso

KARAOKE

Benjamin Percy

LAST BREATH

Michael W. Clune

NOT IN THE EYES!

Adam Wilson

ON JOHN BERRYMAN’S Recovery · Berryman has little interest in the highs and lows of the drinking life, or even the anguish of detox.

Micah Perks

ON MARY ROWLANDSON’S A Narrative of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson · This is the story of your fierce voice, the one that reaches out over three hundred years with that slap upside the head.

Laura Bogart

ON KERI HULME’S The Bone People · Hulme’s work is a remarkable immersion into the hellscape of rage and shame inside the batterer’s mind.

Alix Ohlin

ON BARBARA TRAPIDO’S Brother of the More Famous Jack · Trapido’s sentences are both intensely pleasurable to read and are about pleasure of many kinds: sexual, intellectual, aesthetic.

Santi Elijah Holley

ON LEONARD MICHAELS’S A Cat · What were these sentimental musings, these schmaltzy witticisms? What was with the accompanying doodle-like line drawings?

Jenni Ferrari-Adler

HOSPITAL FOOD · Isn’t it nice when someone brings you breakfast in bed?

Peter Orner

READING GORDON BOWKER’S BIOGRAPHY OF JOYCE · Joyce accompanied his daughter, Lucia, to her first appointment with Carl Jung.