Touch and Go Sold Out

Issue #21, Fall 2004

Repression equals inspiration. So, it stands to reason that given the current climate in America, memorable art is bubbling up through chaos and anger. At Tin House we are seeing it in the crispness in the writing, in the newfound urgency of work that deeply cares about the meaning of words. A few examples: Amanda Eyre Ward's story "Why the Sky Changed" delves into the personal aftermath of 9/11, while "End of the Line," Aimee Bender's harrowing and darkly comic tale of a miniature person kept as a pet by a normal-sized man, could be read as an imperialist fable. Nobel laureate Seamus Heaney's new translation of Sophocles's Antigone eerily resonates today, over two millennia after it was written. And Mary Yukari Waters's "Caste System" beautifully captures the subtle interpersonal politics of a modern Japanese family. George Saunders, in an illuminating interview, talks of trusting the "hot spots" in his fiction.

Stacey Richter

CHRIST, THEIR LORD • Outside in the street, I can hear people caroling--caroling, the most odious of verbs.

Mary Yukari Waters

CASTE SYSTEM • She still remembered her childhood here, how it had felt to board a bus or walk down a street: the baleful stares of children, the frank curiosity of vendors.

Andy Mozina

THE WOMEN WERE LEAVING THE MEN • The worst thing was no one pitied the men enough. They tried to pity each other, but they repelled each other.

Marshall N. Klimasewiski

THE THIRD HOUSE • He said, 'I'm making toast here, Henry, and we have some apple butter--will you join me?' but it was as if he had said, 'My sons died young, Henry, and my wife is an invalid--can you imagine?'

Wendy Rawlings

BERRIES ON THE VINE • She claimed to love a woman named Pattie. Pattie had a husband, too. It was ludicrous.

Aimee Bender

END OF THE LINE • 'You're mine now,' he told the little man. 'I paid good money for you.'

Carol Anshaw

TOUCH AND GO • If she finds out that Diane has a hobby or a vacation time-share, the fantasy will collapse in on itself; it is not a weight-bearing structure.

Amanda Eyre Ward

THE WAY THE SKY CHANGED • I had heard about the rib, of course, but I did not expect it to be at the Smiths' Christmas party. Yet there it was, on the mantel, sandwiched between a bowl of cinnamon-scented potpourri and a holly sprig.

Julianna Baggot

POETRY DESPISES YOUR ATTEMPTS AT DOMESTICITY
TERMITES: A CAUTION ON LOVE POETRY

Philip Metres

BAT SUITE

Amy Barlett

ON THE OBSERVATION DECK OF THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING
SUMAC
BONE MARROW HARVEST
CHEST X-RAY
2 A.M.
FROM MY WINDOW

Jeffrey Skinner

INDECISION
BICYCLE, MARRIAGE

Erik Campbell

DEAD MAN'S WALLET

J. David Stevens

THE ARTIST'S MODEL

Dan Frazier

Fiction
'THE EMPRESS AND THE ELEPHANT,' A NOVEL EXCERPT • She had always resisted feelings of loathing toward her family, even when they were justifiable. Here, though, Karen's hatred felt momentarily curative.

Michael Loughran

Poetry
NIGHT SONGS

George Saunders

Noted story writer George Saunders talks to James Schiff about imitating his own early work, trusting the 'hot spots,' and the literary role of humor.

Seamus Heaney

AN EXCERPT FROM 'THE BURIAL AT THEBES: A VERSION OF SOPHOCLES' ANTIGONE' • What are creon's rights when it comes to me and mine? The ancient question still matters.

Adam Zagajewski • Translated by Clare Cavanagh

POETRY AND DOUBT • Polish writer Zagajewski compares the poetry of Czeslaw Milosz and the diaries of Emil Cioran--two contemporaries whit profoundly opposing philosophies.

Lucia Perillo

SICK FUCK • The body fails everyone eventually, but some more spectacularly than others. What happens to sex when there are machines inside and out?

David Lehman

On David Goodis's Black Friday

John Rowell

On Iris Owens's After Claude

Frank Bures

On Pramoedya Ananta Toer's Whispered Stories on Buru

Montana Wojczuk

On Alan Sillitoe's The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner

P. Genesius Durica

On Angela Carter's translation of The Fairy Tales of Charles Perrault

Heather Hartley

IN A CROWDED KITCHEN: A CULINARY AND LITERARY PORTRAIT OF GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE • The poet and Lucullan epicure banished at least one lover from his Paris garret over an inferior risotto.