Of that “season in hell” I very well remember the twenty days that I was interned in the military mental hospital. The reason? One morning in the barracks at a very early hour, in less than ten minutes I very methodically drank a bottle of cognac, smoked hashish and kef, and took five amphetamines. Two hours later during the military drills, under the influence of that ferocious mixture, I shot my gun at the clouds. They asked what had gotten into me and I explained that I was crazy.
—ENRIQUE VILA-MATAS, “The Literature of No”
Hunter S. Thompson said “When the going gets weird, the weird turn pro.” To us this means, when the world is at its most chaotic, problematic, and inscrutable, that is when the outcasts, misfits, and true artists are able to make sense of the senseless, or at least transmogrify the disorder into their own order. Emotional turmoil—even pain—promises renewal, renaissance, new journeys, new projects, fresh ideas. In this Winter Reading, we celebrate our weird heroes, upheaval, and the surfacing that must precede art. After all, if anyone can find meaning in entropy and turn to freeze into a flower, she’s an artist.
Fiction from Dantiel W. Moniz, Kristina Jipson, Kate Christensen, Olivia Parkes, Enrique Vila-Matas, Elvis Bego, Katherine Heiny, and Regina Porter
Poetry from Kendra DeColo, Amy Dryansky, Kate Daniels, Gerald Stern, Molly McCully Brown & Susannah Nevinson, Rushi Vyas, t’ai freedom ford, Stephanie Rogers, Arthur Sze, Wendy Xu, Grace Bauer, William Archila, Michael Bazzett, Julia Johnson, Kathy Fagan, and Kai Carlson-Wee
Nonfiction from Carol Keeley and Enrique Vila-Matas
Books Lost & Found from Jamel Brinkley, Alice Bolin, Justin Nobel, Johannes Lichtman, and Thomas Hrycyk
And a Last Word by Eleanor Mary Boudreau
I have been receiving and reading Tin House ever since my daughter gave me an issue as a present, but nowadays reading is a slow process and, like many magazines, I read selectively in Tin House and keep the issue beside my bed for those moments when I need a little lift from reading but don’t need the effort required from a big thick book (even if it is digitized on my iPad).
Now that I can also download a digitized issue of Tin House, I have the best of both worlds (and can save some room on my shelves too.