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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, Nicholas Montemarano, Sam Lipsyte, Ron Rash, Theodore Ross, Vanessa Veselka, Elizabeth Ziemska, Henk Rossouw
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.'
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.
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.
BACK OF BEYOND • 'Troubled times,' Parson said. 'But good for business.'
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.
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.
A MURDER OF CROWS • Gophers are not a vengeful species, but rarely does an opportunity present itself to enact both justice and retribution.
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, Victoria Chang, Molly Bendall, Mike Albo, Andrew Michael Roberts, Cecilia Woloch, Timothy Liu, Cate Marvin
TO PAY THE DEBT THIS DAY BEGAN
POSTCARD TO X FROM WARSAW, ULICA PIEKNA ('PRETTY STREET')
ALL MY WIVES
Tin House publisher and editor-in-chief Win McCormack talks with the Manson girl who got away.
Essays and Features:
Aaron Hamburger, Cintra Wilson, Brandon R. Schrand, Danielle Trussoni
A TOUCH OF EVIL • Sometimes even great writers fail to look the Holocaust in the face.
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.
WRESTLING GENE SIMMONS AND OTHER DEMONS • On the many facets of the long-tongued one.
STOP LOOKING • Her father was mesmerized by the photos of his Vietnam kills, and so is she.
Lost & Found:
Francine Prose, Brian DeLeeuw, Glen David Gold, Maggie Robbins, J.C. Hallman, Thomas Scott McKenzie, Michael Kobre, Leslie Jamison
On Gitta Sereny's Into That Darkness
On Shirly Jackson's We Have Always Lived in the Castle
On the Works of Thomas Dixon
On the Works of Charles Williams
On Henry James's The Turn of the Screw
On Jack Huddleston's Death Scenes
On Joseph Conrad's Nostromo
On Marcus's 'The Vision of Tundale'
MOONSHINE: A PRIMER • Everything you need for a little white lightnin'.