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Summer Reading

Issue #44, 2010

People often ask us what Tin House looks for in a submission. I wish I had an easy answer. While it is impossible to quantify the ineffable, the issue you're holding can be decoded for signs and clues. Insight and mystery are two qualities we search out, and are some of the reasons we love the work of Etgar Keret. We also love writers who reinvent, who surprise us with old forms turned inside out. Steven Millhauser, in his gothic teen love story "Tales of Darkness and the Unknown Volume XIV: The White Glove," echoes Poe, but is vintage Milhauser. Similarly, Lydia MiIlet pulls the fairy tale into the modern, messy world in "Snow White, Rose Red." There are plenty of other examples: poet Mark Doty's rememberance of the late James L. White, or Daniel Handler on Berhard DeVoto's classic cocktail manifesto The Hour, which Tin House Books has just reissued. My sure-fire method for knowning that I'm reading something Tin House-worthy is when I am so engrossed I miss my subway stop. We hope that you are as surprised and as engaged by this issue as we are, and that you will become happily distracted and lost because of us.

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Lydia Millet

SNOW WHITE, ROSE RED • Of course I liked the girls. A girl is better than a feast.

Paul Griner

ANIMATI • He was going o be surprised when we jumped out, there was no doubt about that.

Reif Larsen

IT WILL HAPPEN AGAIN: REPORT ON KIRKENSFERDA FIRE, SARAJEVO, 1995 •
After the tragic events in Anlong Veng, there was a sixteen-year absence before the radical particle physics performance troupe staged another puppet show.

Steven Millhauser

TALES OF DARKNESS AND THE UNKNOWN VOL. XIV: THE WHITE GLOVE •
I'd spent the last year so desperately in love with another girl that even my happiness had felt like unhappiness.

Per Petterson

Excerpt from I CURSE THE RIVER TIME • I was trying to avoid my mother, and I did so because I had no wish to hear what she might say about my life.

Fred G. Leebron

OUT COLD • He felt for a moment as if he had been shot by an extremely large bullet in the shape of a ball.

Rawi Hage

STRAY DOGS • Samir shocked the family when he decided to change his major from business to philosophy, and write a thesis on photography.

Henry Alcalay

THE COLOR OF SALT • After the student union building fire and after the cops had talked to everyone, I went down one afternoon just to smell the wreckage.

Lisabeth Burton

BECAUSE A HIGHWAY
OTHER PEOPLE

Christopher DeWeese

THE RAPTURE

Boomer Pinches

SPOILER ALERT

Sophie McManus

Fiction
THE WHEELBARROW • As I was going up the aluminum steps, the sun pierced the spaces between the slats right ot my eye and it was then I knew I was sick.

Alyson Sinclair

Poetry
THE INVENTION OF THE SOUTH
I DREAMED THE CLOUDS WENT BY THE MOON LIKE DEAD FISH

Megan Williams

Poetry
EXISTENTIAL SCAVENGER HUNT

Etgar Keret

The best-selling Israeli author shares his thoughts on messing with narrative, being an outsider, and having a point with Tin House Books editor Meg Storey

David Shields

The essayist and genre-defying gadfly, author most recently of Reality Hunger: A Manifesto , talks with Jay Ponteri about problems of egolessness, collage, and how to combat a culture that's pushing us evermore toward shallowness.

James L. White

WHITEFISH LAKE, LATE SUMER 1978
AN EXCERPT FROM HIS UNFINISHED BIOGRAPHY

Mark Doty

A Tribute To James L. White
THE STORY OF OUR LIVES IS SO FAR LOCKED DOWN • On The Salt Ecstacies and the Dirty Cities He So Revered

James Guida

ON PAUL VALERY'S Analects • The continual newness and strangeness of consciousness inspired the French philospher-poet.

Aaron Hamburger

ON LEO ROSTEN'S The Education of H*Y*M*A*N K*A*P*L*A*N • Malapropisms abound in this story collection about an immigrant trying to master English.

Leslie Maslow

ON PÄR LAGERKVIST'S The Difficult Journey: Guest of Reality Part II • A Nobel Prize winner examined teh cost of clinging to abandonment and loneliness.

Jessica Handler

ON RUTH DOAN MACDOUGALL'S The Cheerleader • A coming-of-age novel for intellectual teenage girls became an improbable secret handshake for a generation of women.

Jeannie Vanasco

ON VALERY LARBAUD'S A. O. Barnabooth His Diary • The curmudgeonly French writer, bent on exploring his own baseness, inspires the writer to flee to Paris.

Daniel Handler

ON BERNARD DEVOTO The Hour • This guide to drinking is a piece of American cultural patriotism written in a tone of deadpan fascism.