Summer Reading

Tin HouseMy idea of a popular yet informative approach to contemporary literature and the newest writers around the world is the journal Tin House. I’ve spoken of this journal before and will continue to suggest everyone to at least take a peek into an issue if not go for a regular subscription. I have nothing to do with the publication but I know that most of my friends who have followed my advice are quite pleased with Tin House.

Today the mailman stuffed my mailbox with multiple issues of travel brochures from a company I used over five years ago (they just won’t give up but I will say, their brochures are lovely and their printing must have been costly: too bad I just toss them in the garbage), two or three bills or invoices, a real estate come-on, and Volume 15, Number 4 of Tin House full of interesting Summer Reading. Now I have enjoyed two cups of coffee at my desk while I reviewed the great stuff in this newest issue.

Here some of what the publisher says about this issue:

The writer’s job is not simply to make the reader look at the world differently, but experience it in a new way. E.L. Doctorow says, “Good writing is supposed to evoke sensation in the reader—not the fact that it is raining but the feeling of being rained on.” In their stories, Jamie Quatro, Ken Calhoun, and Joan Silber take you inside three wonderfully strange families, bathing us in details that make us feel as if we are with them. That rain isn’t always a gentle summer shower. Sometimes it’s a storm. This is what Adam Johnson does in his artful and disturbing short story, “Dark Meadow.” In the simplest terms, the story is about child pornography. Yet Johnson, who won the 2013 Pulitzer Prize for his novel The Orphan Master’s Son, moves beyond the sensationalism of the conceit and into the deeper realm of empathy and pathos, which is the stuff of true art. I am proud that we are publishing it.

Wherever you are reading this—on the beach, in a field of flowers, on the subway, sneaking it at the office—we hope that you have moments where time stops and art takes over.

The contents of this issue of Tin House is varied and interesting. The writers include:

    • Fiction: Jamie Quatro, Jess Row, Joan Silber, Manuel Gonzales, Jonathan Lee, Kenneth Calhoun, Adam Johnson, Antonio Tabucchi
    • Poetry: Morgan Parker, Matthew Rohrer, Monica McClure, Rebecca Wadlinger, Nick Flynn, Meg Freitag, Francesca Chabrier, Michael McGriff, Will Butler, Jen Levitt (New Voice)
    • Features: Kent Russell, Wayne Koestenbaum
    • Interview: Karl Ove Knausgaard
    • Lost & Found: Aaron Hamburger, Mesha Maren, Shawn Vandor, Heather Hartley, Katie Arnold-Ratliff
    • Readable Feast: Elizabeth Richert

My StruggleI am about to start Karl Ove Knausgaard’s Proustian autobiography (memoir?) My Struggle so the interview with the author is especially exciting for me. For those who are not familiar with Knausgaard, his memoir is in six volumes and the third volume has just been published in an English translation. I haven’t read it but I have the first two volumes and hear only good things about it.

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