Hope/Dread

Issue #41, Fall 2009

HOPE

In this hopeful issue, we interview South African Breyten Breytenbach, the prolific poet, playwright, essayist, and painter who was imprisoned under the apartheid regime and who now continues to create work in France. Lorrie Moore, one of our nation's most astute and sliest writers, talks to Tin House senior editor Michelle Wildgen about the subversive uses of humor and wordplay. If the goal of an artist is to solve the problems of being alive, Abigail Thomas, in her fiction and memoirs, does so succinctly and powerfully. Here, "Nana's" well-earned comfort and complacency are threatened by an old friend. We also include the poetry and journal entires of Mahmoud Darwish, the Palestinian poet and national hero who passed away last year, but whose singular, global voice will continue to resonate now and, hopefully, through time. We live in hope.

DREAD

If you're not seized by dread you're not paying attention. So, eyes forward. There is much to dread in this issue. Embracing the side of fear and loathing, Ander Monson and Nick Cave wallow in the fictional depths of despair and depravity, while Matthea Harvey and Deborah Landau plumb the poetic dark heart. It is the job of the artist to show things as they truly are, and, even having someone in the White House who can spell, it is truly a dreadful time to be alive. So, please, take a deep breath and brace yourself for the dreadful truth

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Hope
Karen Russell

THE SEAGULL ARMY DESCENDS ON STRONG BEACH • Nal knew this was not the most excellent strategy to woo Vanessa, but he was getting a sick pleasure from this seduction by proxy

Alaa Al Aswany

IZZAT AMIN ISKANDAR • Each morning Izzat limped into the classroom leaning on his crutch, dragging his artificial leg.

Michael Byers

GUESS WHO? •

Michael Dahlie

THE CHILDREN OF STROMSUND • We were all pregnant by the day of John's funeral, and since that day we have always regarded him as one of the seven fathers of our children.

Abigail Thomas

NANA'S CLOSE CALL • It has taken Nana the better part of sixty years to enjoy the inside of her own head.

Dread
Ander Monson

WEEP NO MORE OVER THIS EVENT • That's why I shot him. He advanced on me. He was an immanent threat.

Nick Cave

AN EXCERPT FROM THE NOVEL The Death of Bunny Munro • He thinks of Kylie's gold hot pants, those magnificent gilded orbs.

Hope
Matthea Harvey

[THE SUN WAS DIM THEN DONE, BUT AFTER MONTHS OF TREATMENTS]

Mahmoud Darwish

A CANAANITE ROCK IN THE DEAD SEA
I WAS NOT WITH ME
MOST AND LEAST
I AM JEALOUS OF EVERYTHING AROUND YOU
BEYOND IDENTIFICATION
GREEN FLIES

Dread
Sophie Cabot Black

SETTLING
ALREADY BROKEN
I HAVE TALKED TOO MUCH

Matthea Harvey

[IN THE FEVER HOSPITAL, THE ELEVATOR]

Deborah Landau

An exerpt from WELCOME TO THE FUTURE

Mark Wunderlich

HEAVEN-LETTER
FIRE-LETTER

Paul Guest

APOLOGIA
IMPURE POEM

Dread
Cat Richardson

Poetry
HALF IS JUST ENOUGH TO MAKE SURE YOU WILL EAT ANOTHER SOMEDAY

Hope
Cory Doctorow

RADICAL PRESENTISM • Quality science fiction is less about predicting the future than illuminating the present.

Dread
Alex Lemon

An excerpt from Happy The poet faces dangerous brain surgery as Hurricane Floyd bears down on Miami

Montana Wojczuk

THE GENTLEMAN INTERROGATOR • Suspicion confirmed: Nazis did indeed help build Disney World.

Curtis White

A GOOD WITHOUT LIGHT • The Green Movement might involve, more than anything else, sustaining an economic status quo.

Sigrid Nunez

SONTAG'S RULES • Remembering a writer who brok the rules, shattered expectations, and was anything but servile or boring - her two favorite words.

Hope
Lorrie Moore

The author of, among other books, Birds of America, Self-Help, and the new novel A Gate at the Stairs, talks war, wordplay, and roughed-up characters with Michelle Wildgen.

Breyten Breytenbach

The acclaimed writer and painter spent seven years in a South African prison. Heather Hartley chats with him about writing in jail, his various identities, and what gives him hope in dark times.

Hope
Craig Morgan Teicher

ON WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS'S In the American Grain Williams liked people. He found individuals more interesting than any idea.

J.C. Hallman

ON KENNETH PATCHEN'S The Journal of Albion Moonlight The handwritten manuscript resembled the love child of a flow chart and the confessions of a seriel killer.

Martin Wilson

ON JOHN DONOVAN'S I'll Get There. It Better Be Worth the Trip The author is surprised to find gay lead characters in a book for teenagers publisherd in 1969.

Dread
Nick Obourn

ON JACK BLACK'S You Can't Win The autobiography of a career hobo who lied, cheated, and stole his way across America.

Danniel Schoonebeek

ON FRANK STANFORD'S The Singing Knives We understand the horrors of these poems like panic attacks.