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Tenth Anniversary

Issue #40, Summer 2009

In this special issue, some of our favorite writers from the past ten years contribute new work, including Ron Carlson, Rick Moody, and Stuart Dybek, who were in our very first issue. Our Premiere Issue also featured a story by David Foster Wallace, whom we miss. In the spirit of coming full circle, we present a story written at the budding stage of his brilliant career, previously seen only in his college literary magazine and published here with the blessing of Wallace's widow. Over the past decade Tin House has not only grown as a magazine, but now includes Tin House Books, which publishes ten books per year, and six years ago we built the Tin House Writers Workshop, held each summer in glorious Portland, Oregon. Along the way so many writers and artists have become like family to us. We offer our heartfelt thanks to all of you who have made these past ten years so meaningful, exciting, and gratifying. No amount of awards or accolades can compare. Of course, none of this would be possible without the initial courage and continuing enthusiasm and support of our unflagging publisher, Win McCormack. Lastly, we would like to thank our loyal readers, many of whom took the leap of faith early on and have seen us through renovations, floods, and small fires. Thank you for your enduring support.

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Aimee Bender

AMERICCA • I was still the main suspect, but why would a person lie about bringing food and new knickknacks into the house?

David Foster Wallace

THE PLANET TRILLAPHON AS IT STANDS IN RELATION TO THE BAD THING • I've been on antidepressants for, what, about a year now, and I suppose I feel as if I'm pretty qualified to tell what they're like.

Jim Shepard

LOW-HANGING-STRANGE • My wife was crying. "Remembr when you told me the one thing physics teaches you is that the reality you think you observe doesn't have much to do with the reality that's out there?"

Charles Baxter

THE COUSINS • Appearances mattered a great deal to Brantford, but his own were on a gradual slide.

Amy Hempel

I STAY WITH SYD • I wasn't the only friend Syd's married man hit on the time he came to see her at the beach.

Josuhua Ferris

A NIGHT OUT • The usual targets were people just like them: a white couple with money moving blithley about as if the city were a field of poppies.

Stuart Dybek

ARF • You ever have a boyfriend kissing your booty? Toujours pour la premiére fois.

Steve Almond

DONKEY GREEDY, DONKEY GETS PUNCHED• Dr. Raymond Oss had become a poker player. He had a weakness for the game and the ruthless depressives it attracted.

Etgar Keret

Translated by Nathan Englander
WHAT, OF THIS GOLDFISH, WOULD YOU WISH? • You killed him, Sergei, " the goldfish says. "You murdered someone."

David Gates

WHERE NOTHING EVER HAPPENS • She's in Connecticut, house-sitting for the Hagertys and sleeping in their dead daughter's bedroom.

Lydia Davis

FIVE FICTIONS FROM THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT • We are in Egypt. The celling of this studio is two or even three stories high. A woman I know, a visual artist, is trying to hang her work for a show.

Anthony Doerr

THE RIVER NEMUNAS • I'm fifteen years old. My parents are dead. I'm moving to Lithuania.

Dorothy Allison

JASON WHO WILL BE FAMOUS • That is the word. Serious. He is being taken seriously.

Ron Carlson

SUNDAY IN THE WINDY CITY • There was no mark on my teacher's face, but his eyes were wrong and I asked him, "Did he kick you."

Lucia Perillo


Stephen King


D.A. Powell


Jillian Weise


Sherman Alexie


Colson Whitehead

After the world of elevator operators, John Henry's battle with the steam engine, the warped world of branding, and a lyrical look at New York life, the MacArthur Genius finally tackels the autobiographical novel.

Barry Hannah

A good funeral should make you horny, he believes. Novelist Tom Franklin extracts this and other bits of wisdom about writing and life from a Southern king of the short story.

Jean Nathan

MY DEAR LITTLE ANIMAL • The saga of Jean-Paul Sartre and his only known American lover.

Tom Grimes

THE BLUE INSUPPORTABLE • Frank Conroy was attuned to the downbeats of life, its blue notes and mody rhythms. A former student recalls this maestro's career as a writer and teacher.

Francine Prose

THROUGH A GLASS LIGHTLY • Weren't the seveties fun?

Jon Raymond

ON SAUL BELLOW'S Ravelstein One hopes that on the day the neocon junta returns to power, his final novel remains enar the top of the Bellow reading list.

Cheston Knapp

ON ANDER MONSON'S Other Electrcities In Nothern Michagen the consequences of snow and ice are altogether more substantial than simple school closings and snowman and sleding trips.

Rob Spillman

ON DAVID MARKSON • He began as a purveyor of genre novels, but his latter-day work represents the pinnacle of experimental fiction in America.

Jeanne McCulloch

ON GEORGE HOWE COLT'S The Big House: A Century in the Life of an American Summer Home How does a house become a home? And what, exactly, is a home?

Brian DeLeeuw

ON CARL WILSON'S Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste How does a house become a home? And what, exactly, is a home?

Elissa Schappell

ON MANDY AFTEL'S Essence and Alchemy: A Natural History of Perfume You can't fool the body- it's the rank odor of animal musk that really gets our rocks off.