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Summer Reading

Issue #48, Summer 2011

Twice a year we set sail on a new issue without a theme to guide us. We open ourselves up to the universe. We search the skies and look to the stars and the unknown for inspiration. This summer we present a constellation new to us, Jodi Angel. At a reading with Tin House favorites Ron Carlson and Dorothy Allison, I heard Angel read "A Good Deuce," her story of a rural California teen dealing with the aftermath of a mother's overdose, and it blew me away. See for yourself on page 12. Literary cult-hero Gary Lutz appears in our pages for the first time with his prickly, language-driven story "Divorcer," while Walter Mosley offers a deceptively smooth story in "Familiar Music." Curious as to why Terrance Hayes won the 2010 National Book Award? Turn to page 132. We also interview Ann Patchett and Jean-Philippe Toussaint, the French phenom. As Bill Moyers once said, "Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous." We wish everyone a summer filled with the marvelous.

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Jodi Angel

A GOOD DEUCE • I was on my second bag of Doritos and my lips were stained emergency orange when my best friend, Phillip, said he knew of a bar in Hallelujah Junction that didn't card.

Gary Lutz

DIVORCER • You can't gerneralize about divorce, and you can't get too specific about it either.

Karen Shepard

DON'T KNOW WHERE, DON'T KNOW WHEN • Zizi simultaneously believes herself to be in no way enviable and the most interesting person in the room.

Jean-Philippe Toussaint

EXCERPT FROM The Truth About Marie Thinking back on the last few hours of that sweltering night, I realized we had made love at the same time, Marie and I, but not with each other.

Patrick Ryan

WHICH WAY TO OSTERLING CLOUD • Of this much I'm sure: the Subject doesn't like being told what he is or how he should live.

Walter Mosley

FAMILIAR MUSIC • I decided to quit my job at Craighton's Cartons on a Thursday afternoon at 2:56 p.m.

Dorianne Laux

BEFORE SURGERY
DEATH OF THE MOTHER

Charlie Smith

JUST A NOTE
BLUE PILLS
SUPPOSITION

Frank Montesonti

A QUICK STUDY IN UNHAPPINESS

Stephanie Ford

from THE PLACES

Terrance Hayes

THE ROSE HAS TEETH

Rick Barot

LOOKING AT THE ROMANS

Jenny Browne

TEXAS, BEING
SOME STUDIES FOR THE MONSTER

Zachary Schomburg

FIRST TIME IN PARIS
LOST FOREST OF NAKAI
THE ONE ABOUT THE ROBBERS

Ann Patchett

The best-selling author of Bel Canto chewed the fat with Tin House editor Rob Spillman. They gnawed the gristle of plot, the meat of character, and slow-roasted notions of nonfiction. All that and the opera.

Jean-Philippe Toussaint

This French phenom of phonemes has taken the world by storm with his whimsical realism. He philosophized and joked with Michael Silverblatt about Beckett, melancholy, and the big infinities.

Maggie Nelson

THE BRUTALITY OF FACT • The cultural theorist and poet meditates on notions of cruelty, truth, and the places they overlap.

Hugh Ryan

ON THE DIARIES OF OTHERS • Bits of ephemera bloom into whole lives and show us how we consider our own.

Carl Adamshick

ON WILLIAM STAFFORD • A nachlass of pearls and gems.

Emily Stone

ON Up Close and Personal Joan Didion and John Gregory Dunne tag-team a screenplay.

Alex Behr

On The Dream World of Dion McGregor • Poetic rants and raves from the world's most famous somniloquist.

Lincoln Michel

ON HERBERT READ'S The Green Child Hemmed in by our age of facts, we're forced to forage for our mysteries.

Jon Michaud

ON JOHN COLLIER'S Fancies and Goodnights In these stories the hypothetical becomes the actual with lethal speed.

Orly Castel-Bloom

BLUE PILL • Someone once gave me this blue pill: God, what a feeling that was.