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Summer Reading

Issue #56, Summer, 2013

The best writers not only create worlds beyond our imagination but also lead us into places we’d never dare venture alone. Over their long careers, Stephen King and Margaret Atwood have continually surprised us with their dark worlds. In his new short story “Afterlife,” King transports us into the mind of a man at the white-light moment of his death. And Atwood, master of speculative fiction and a fervent conservationist, talks about dystopian societies and vanishing species with Tin House editor-at-large Elissa Schappell. Critic Parul Sehgal explores issues of race, class, and gender politics, as well as the significance of African and African American women’s hair, in her interview with Orange Prize–winning novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie. But discovery isn’t always about darkness, especially in the summer, when thoughts turn to sun and vacation. In this issue, poet Tom Sleigh, who has seven collections of poetry and numerous awards to his credit, continues to burn bright with two new poems; Katie Arnold-Ratliff writes about eating her way through Disneyland; and Jennifer Gilmore chronicles her attempt to make a meal with her Greek mother-in-law on the island of Naxos. We hope you’ll follow us to both our dark and our light places, and we appreciate you taking us along—to the mountains, to the beach, to the backyard hammock.

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Stephen King

AFTERLIFE • William Andrews, an investment banker with Goldman Sachs, dies on the afternoon of September 23, 2012.

Liz Moore

SHY-SHY • In the middle of your fifth-grade year you turn eleven and your parents decide, abruptly, for the first time, to send you to sleepaway camp.

Jodi Angel

FIRM AND GOOD • We were suddenly dumped into more quiet than I had expected and for a minute I wondered if I had seen the cat get hit.

Jon Raymond

THE RED CROWN • Don felt guilty to be happier outside, away from his family, but the streets were so peaceful, so undemanding, he couldn't help it.

Dylan Landis

TRUST • Before they took the gun out for a walk, she and Tina were up in Rainey's room tying scarves around their heads to disguise their hair.

Kevin Barry

BEER TRIP TO LLANDUDNO • It was a pig of a day, as hot as we'd had, and we were down to our T-shirts taking off from Lime Street.

Sophie Cabot Black

PALMS FACING OUT AND AWAY FROM THE BODY
AS DISCIPLE

Ellen Bass

MOTH ORCHIDS
ODE TO THE FIRST PEACH

Laura Eve Engel

DEFINED CONTRIBUTION
PEOPLE WITH NOTHING TO SAY SAY PLENTY TO THE DOG

Rich Smith

FOR SARAH IN HER BLUE JUMPSUIT

Danniel Schoonebeek and Allyson Paty

TORCH SONG: BORN AGAIN
TORCH SONG: O BEAUTIFUL

Camille Dungy

WHAT I KNOW I CANNOT SAY

Tom Sleigh

THE TWINS
THE CRAZE

Alex Lemon

THE TRICK BAG
AFTER THE WORLD DID NOT END

Carrie Fountain

THE TALENT
PRAYER (5)

Mark Wagenaar

A LITTLE DREAMBOOK OF LAST DAYS

Kimberly BrussNEW VOICE

MY MOTHER SAYS

Margaret Atwood

One of our greatest living novelists and thinkers corresponded with Tin House editor-at-large, Elissa Schappell, about speculative fiction, the war against women, and the tools with which humanity could destroy itself.

Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

The Nigerian novelist and bona fide genius chatted with critic Parul Sehgal about benevolent bullies, upsetting 'single stories,' and what's new in the latest fashion magazines.

Robert Boswell

HOW I MET MY WIFE • The author explores the craft of fiction with some help from memoir. Don't the two make an attractive pair?

Miciah Bay Gault

MY OWN PRIVATE BYRON • A student schools a teacher on grave robbing and a macabre survey course ensues.

Jeannie Vanasco

ON JOHN KEENE'S AnnotationsA Künstlerroman for the ages.

Pamela Erens

ON GEORGE GISSING'S New Grub StreetThis Victorian masterpiece charts the life of a nongenius writer.

Susan Scarf Merrell

ON WILLIAM MARCH'S The Bad SeedA sociopathic child intrigues you with her troubling charm.

Colin Fleming

ON FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT'S HitchcockThese titans of film explore their craft's central question: 'What will happen next?'

Tripp Reade

ON BRUNO SCHULZ'S The Street of CrocodilesThe Polish fabulist teaches us that reality lies in the shadow of the word.

Jennifer Gilmore

THE EGGPLANT, THE GOAT, THE MOUSSAKA • A desire for the perfect ingredients for a dish results in a wild tour of the Greek countryside.

Katie Arnold-Ratliff

DISNEYLAND • In an effort to relive her past, the author learns that memory is a form of self-deceit.