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Issue #38, 2008
It's hard to match the recent political drama for sheer absurdity and shock value. In keeping with the dramatic mood of the season, Anne Carson, one of modern poetry's great innovators and translators, has come to our rescue. Here Carson breathes life and fire into into the Greek classic, An Oresteia, braiding together three different visions—Aiskhylos' Agamemnon, Sophokles' Elektra, and Euripides' Orestes—drawing the ancient tale of vengeance into the modern world. Closer to home, it's the rot of betrayal that destroys the couple at the heart of Christopher Sorrentino's story "Ever Again," a stellar addition to the pantheon of divorce tragedies. Daniel Menaker, legendary fiction editor at the New Yorker and Random House, has for over three decades anointed rising stars and assisted literary giants in realizing their vision. In this issue he speaks to the thrill and challenge of editing many of the greatest modern American writers. One of those writers was the extraordinarily gifted David Foster Wallace, whom we lost last October. Tin House had the pleasure and honor of publishing Wallace in our premiere issue, and, like so many others, we mourn his passing. Greatness is transcendent and great art everlasting. His vision will be missed. His art will endure.
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Christopher Sorrentino, Benjamin Nugent, Ron Hansen, Steve Heighton, Kevin Moffett, Kevin Wilson, Arthur Bradford, Shawn Vestal, Josip Novakovich
EVER AGAIN • He'd confessed the affair because it was troubling him and also because he knew that Mo would be able to help him get out of it.
OLLIE THE OWL • We should not have allowed the alumnus in the house. He was random.
SHE LOVES ME NOT • She decided Cleanth's time for dying was long overdue and she enlisted me for the project.
DIALOGUES OF DEPARTURE • The authors then perkily urged me to translate a number of Japanese sentences into English, including When I looked through the window, there was a corpse on the floor.
ONE DOG YEAR • Please kill me before I get so greedy for more years. Dump me in the ocean, let the sharks have my organs, let eels nest in my ribcage.
No JOKE, THIS IS GOING TO BE PAINFUL • We called them ice fights. They made things weird for a little while.
THE LSD AND THE BABY • There was a plunking sound from a pool above us and then a muffled cry. The baby had fallen into the creek.
GULLS • Sara Miller wanted to know what would happen if she said no. Just that: No.
WHITE MUSTACHE • Silver-haired men limped in the streets like incompetent ghosts who had lost the ability to float.
Jan Elizabeth Watson
AN EXCERPT FROM ASTA IN THE WINGS • On the last day, the day before everything changed, my mother told me her theory about the movies.
James Richardson, Alexandra Wilder, Rebecca Lehmann, Lytton Smith, Matthew Dickman, Andrea Baker, Chelsea Lemon Fetzer, G.C. Waldrep
METALLURGY FOR DUMMIES
SISTER HAS A HANDLEBAR HEART
LETTERS TO A SHITHEAD FRIEND
THE BOOK OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND CONSOLATION
ADDRESSING A COUNTRY AS THE NAME WE LIKE
IN WHICH THE ACROBATS DESPAIR
EXCERPT FROM AN ORCHESTRA
Drew Smith talks with renowned editor about being in the company of the wise, handling egos, and the demise of country music.
Lost & Found:
Nathan Sellyn, Dane Huckelbridge, Tom Grimes, Elisa Albert, Don Waters
On W.N.P BARBELLION'S THE JOURNAL OF A DISAPPOINTED MAN
ON J.P. DONLEAVY'S A FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK
ON JOHN STEINBECK'S TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY
ON ELAINE DUNDY'S THE DUD AVOCADO
BUT FIRST, LET ME TELL YOU WHAT WE ATE • The author is seasoned with regret after chickening out on love.