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Am I Blue?

Issue #12, Summer 2002

Warning: once you plunge into Jo Ann Beard's "Undertaker, Please Drive Slow," you may never be the same. This chronicle of Cheri Tremble's two-year odyssey of illness—from the onset of cancer to her decision to contact Dr. Jack Kevorkian and her eventual suicide—is simply life-changing. With remarkable emotional clarity and lyrical brilliance, Beard weaves fact with fiction to push the envelope of narrative non-fiction. We are proud to publish this groundbreaking work. Andre Dubus III makes a passionate case for reading the soon-to-be-re-issued collection of stories by a cult writing from the hills of West Virginia, Breece D'J Pancake, who committed suicide in 1979, at the age of twenty-six. As always, we're delighted that so many of our favorite poets, emerging and established, including Charlie Smith, Joel Brouwer, and Celia Gilbert, are gracing our pages. 

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Tom Barbash

THE BREAK • They kissed hungrily, illicitly, like adulterers in a bad movie when they've sneaked from the dinner party into the kitchen.

Matthew Vollmer

TWO WOMEN • She wondered if, given the right circumstances, in self-defense maybe, she could kill her.

Lynn Freed

THE FIRST RULE OF HAPPINESS • It was one of the reasons Antonia didn't mix him with her friends anymore. She could keep her friends, he said, they were bloody awful, the whole band shoot of them.

Terese Svoboda

LAST NIGHT • Is the future a kind of black hole? my son asks, with his voice growing quiet near the end as if someone's grading him...

John McManus

ON THE COAST HIGHWAY • For six months I picked up bodies, he said. When the battles were over we burned them in a heap.

Jo Ann Beard

UNDERTAKER, PLEASE DRIVE SLOW • The story of Cheri Tremble, Dr. Jack Kevorkian's seventy-second patient.

Heather Hartley

Poetry
ELEGY IN INDIA INK

Liz Phang

Fiction
THE GLASS WALKWAY

Karl Kirchwey

IN HIS VATICAN APARTMENTS, THE HOLY FATHER LEARNS THAT ROME HAS WON THE FINAL
MONTEVERDI

Charlie Smith

THE WILDERNESS
SOLITUDE

Joel Brouwer

CHILDHOOD
DIAGNOSIS

Diane Ackerman

THE UNBEGUILING

A. Loudermilk

BUCKSHOT
THE SMALLEST WOMAN IN THE WORLD WHO ONCE POSED ON THE LAP OF THE RICHEST MAN IN AMERICA CONSIDERS THE BAD DREAMS OF THE TALLEST MAN WHO EVER LIVED

Celia Gilbert

COMPACT

Ron Carlson

Leslie Wootten interviews a Tin House favorite, Ron Carlson.

Andre Dubus III

on The Stories of Breece D'J Pancake

Alice Elliott Dark

on Jane Bowles' story 'A Stick of Green Candy'

Anna Keesey

on Jean Stafford's The Mountain Lion

Janet Lee

Fiction
Better Than Fruit

Su Shi, translated by Jeffrey Yang

Poetry
Three poems from East Slope

Hayden Carruth

Letters from Hayden Carruth to the late Jane Kenyon

Harriet Reisen

THE MARGARITA

Eugenia Bone

THE TASTE OF A WILD MUSHROOM

Henry Alford

WON'T LAST