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Issue #42, 2009
It is impossible for the heart not to leap when the formidable storywriter Antonya Nelson delivers "iff," once again showing why she is one of the masters of the short form. Then there is Ben Marcus, who, in true literary-convention-spanking style presents us with "The Moors," in which he blatantly ignores Fiction Rule Number 12: It is impossible to write a thirty-seven page story about a hapless man tied in knots over what to say to a colleague as they arrive at the coffee station at the same time. One would have to be made of ice not to succumb to the dark charms of the irrepressible novelist Amélie Nothomb--imagine Marguerite Dura's precocious, perversely funny little sister. We hope that you will be as seduced as we were by Paris Editor Heather Hartley's interview with the author--along with an excerpt from her newly translated novel, Hygiene and the Assassin. If reading new poetry from Michael Dickman, Dorianne Laux, and D. Nurske doesn't make you crow with joy over the state of modern American poetry, well, we can give you the address of a nice little booby hatch in upstate New York. If that wasn't enough, we're throwing in a puzzle where you, dear reader, along with a friend, can rewrite Edgar Allen Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart."
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Antonya Nelson, Karen Shepard, Amélie Nothomb, Ben Marcus, Keith Lee Morris
IFF • Only occasionally is there evidence of a flaw, a public announcement of failure, the open spectacle of something gone horrendously wrong.
THERE BE MONSTERS • When she's at her grimmest, she thinks of him as a toad.
EXCERPT FROM HYGIENE AND THE ASSASSIN • What might be the thoughts and moods of a great writer who knows he is going to die?
THE MOORS • At work today, Thomas the Dead made a grave miscalculation by using baby with a colleague.
WHAT I WANT FROM YOU • You didn't know that even with Ryan dying there under the blanket we had interesting things to do.
Michael Dickman, D. Nurkse, Dorianne Laux, David Trinidad, Tadeusz Dabrowski
NINE SPANISH RIDDLES
THE LAKE BEHIND THE BRANCHES
[THE LIVING WILL NOT UNDERSTAND THE DEAD THE DEAD WILL UNDERSTAND]
Jeff Snowbarger, Allyson Paty
BITTER FRUIT • Blanton would sleep as sound as a winter bear that night and beyond, not knowing half of what I did about Ely's last months.
Amelie Nothomb, Roy Blount Jr.
France has adopted this writer of the world, who has as many selves as places she's lived. She speaks with Tin House Paris Editor Heather Hartley about Rilke, the pregnancy of creation, and the mysterious reality of the written word.
The polymath auhtor of more than twenty books, including his most recent , Alphabet Juice, chats with Cassandra Cleghorn about grammer, shade-tree etymology, and hating one's mother.
FROM KANDAHAR TO HERAT • On an expedition through Afghanistan, a journalist wonders: is the Taliban all that bad?
Lost & Found:
Geoff Nicholson, Dani Shapiro, Steve Almond, A. N. Devers, Jennifer Gilmore
ON DAVID CARRADINE'S Endless Highway • Not even David Carradine can karate chop his way back from death. This isn't Highlander.
ON ELLEN MILLER'S Like Being Killed • A teacher wonders at the meteoric rise, and fall, of a former student.
ON MICHAEL ARLEN'S Living-room War • It's not just Road Rules or The Bachelor; television has always had trouble capturing reality.
ON MARÍA LOUISA BOMBAL'S The House of Mist • A Chilean woman on the lam doesn't run from the truth.
ON ULI BEIGEL'S Victoria at Night and Other Stories • A New Yorker explored and tried to chart the rules of the game of femininity.
KENTUCKY BREAD • A recipe for bread gives rise to a meditation on the nuances of a family's history.