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Evil

Issue #31, Spring 2007

Evil is a frequently abused word, slung wantonly by politicians, religious leaders, and children alike. Perhaps that's because evil is fundamentally a subjective concept: one man's evil is another man's happy vice. But true evil—when a person willfully inflicts physical or psychic pain on another person—is the raw stuff of much great art. In this issue we explore evil in all of its many facets. Chris Adrian's story "Why Antichrist?" follows a teenager possessed, possibly by satanic forces. A more subtle evil creeps through the pages of Ron Rash's rural, meth-scarred landscape in "Back of Beyond." Tin House publisher Win McCormack interviews the Manson girl who slipped away from the charismatic cult leader months before the horrific murder spree in Topanga Canyon. And in his poem "Fire," Nick Flynn takes on torture.

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Chris Adrian

WHY ANTICHRIST? • 'He is the son of the devil but I think that with the right role models he coudl be a very productive member of society.'

Nicholas Montemarano

MAKE BELIEVE • I woke with my face against a cold cab window, then Alex helped me through the rainand into her bed, where a few hours earlier I had fake-raped her at her request.

Sam Lipsyte

EXPRESSIVE • If you know how to work your face you can make people think you feel anything you want, and with that power you can feel up anything you want.

Ron Rash

BACK OF BEYOND • 'Troubled times,' Parson said. 'But good for business.'

Theodore Ross

THE BUNDLE. THE UPCOMING. THE VENGEANCE. • 'Binh is with child. You are the Father. The Family's joy is great.' This comes as a surprise to Martin.

Vanessa Veselka

ZAZEN • Mr. Tofu Scramble says I should go anyway, that it's too late. I want to but I can't. Maybe when the bombs stop, or at least let up. Nobody thinks it'll stay like this.

Elizabeth Ziemska

A MURDER OF CROWS • Gophers are not a vengeful species, but rarely does an opportunity present itself to enact both justice and retribution.

Henk Rossouw

UNSLUNG • Word must have gotten around among the hotel staff, Bosman thought, about the photographer who'd come to take pictures of Rwanda for an American magazine and who left big tips.

Nick Flynn

FIRE

Victoria Chang

SEVEN INFIDELITIES
DEAR PROFESSOR

Molly Bendall

TO PAY THE DEBT THIS DAY BEGAN
BLURRY EVIDENCE

Mike Albo

JUNK MAIL POEMS

Andrew Michael Roberts

MINUS THE ANIMALS

Cecilia Woloch

POSTCARD TO X FROM WARSAW, ULICA PIEKNA ('PRETTY STREET')
LETHE

Timothy Liu

ARS POETICA

Cate Marvin

YOUR CHILDHOOD
ALL MY WIVES

Win McCormack

Tin House publisher and editor-in-chief Win McCormack talks with the Manson girl who got away.

Aaron Hamburger

A TOUCH OF EVIL • Sometimes even great writers fail to look the Holocaust in the face.

Cintra Wilson

THE GLASS PARKING LOT OR SUMMER IN THE SWAMP OF MORAL RELATIVISM • Five humid weeks in DC with our nation's top neocons and sociopaths.

Brandon R. Schrand

WRESTLING GENE SIMMONS AND OTHER DEMONS • On the many facets of the long-tongued one.

Danielle Trussoni

STOP LOOKING • Her father was mesmerized by the photos of his Vietnam kills, and so is she.

Francine Prose

On Gitta Sereny's Into That Darkness

Brian DeLeeuw

On Shirly Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle

Glen David Gold

On the Works of Thomas Dixon

Maggie Robbins

On the Works of Charles Williams

J.C. Hallman

On Henry James's The Turn of the Screw

Thomas Scott McKenzie

On Jack Huddleston's Death Scenes

Michael Kobre

On Joseph Conrad's Nostromo

Leslie Jamison

On Marcus's 'The Vision of Tundale'

Kevin Winchester

MOONSHINE: A PRIMER • Everything you need for a little white lightnin'.