Winter Reading

Issue #38, 2008

EDITOR'S NOTE

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

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.

Benjamin Nugent

OLLIE THE OWL • We should not have allowed the alumnus in the house. He was random.

Ron Hansen

SHE LOVES ME NOT • She decided Cleanth's time for dying was long overdue and she enlisted me for the project.

Steve Heighton

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.

Kevin Moffett

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.

Kevin Wilson

No JOKE, THIS IS GOING TO BE PAINFUL • We called them ice fights. They made things weird for a little while.

Arthur Bradford

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.

Shawn Vestal

GULLS • Sara Miller wanted to know what would happen if she said no. Just that: No.

Josip Novakovich

WHITE MUSTACHE • Silver-haired men limped in the streets like incompetent ghosts who had lost the ability to float.

Jan Elizabeth Watson

Fiction
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

STATE-SPONSORED
METALLURGY FOR DUMMIES

Alexandra Wilder

SISTER HAS A HANDLEBAR HEART

Rebecca Lehmann

LETTERS TO A SHITHEAD FRIEND

Lytton Smith

THE BOOK OF ENCOURAGEMENT AND CONSOLATION
ADDRESSING A COUNTRY AS THE NAME WE LIKE

Andrea Baker

DISPATCH THE FLIES

G.C. Waldrep

IN WHICH THE ACROBATS DESPAIR

Anne Carson

EXCERPT FROM AN ORCHESTRA

Daniel Menaker

Drew Smith talks with renowned editor about being in the company of the wise, handling egos, and the demise of country music.

Nathan Sellyn

On W.N.P BARBELLION'S THE JOURNAL OF A DISAPPOINTED MAN

Dane Huckelbridge

ON J.P. DONLEAVY'S A FAIRY TALE OF NEW YORK

Tom Grimes

ON JOHN STEINBECK'S TRAVELS WITH CHARLEY

Elisa Albert

ON ELAINE DUNDY'S THE DUD AVOCADO

Don Waters

ON KNUT HAMSUN'S HUNGER

Katie Crouch

BUT FIRST, LET ME TELL YOU WHAT WE ATE • The author is seasoned with regret after chickening out on love.