Winter Reading

VOLUME 20, Number 2: Winter Reading

d51a43c9-f505-44d6-8d52-26baee6a8294.jpgOf 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.

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Summer Sanctuary

Conj70frntonlyThis is one of two months of the year when quarterly and bi-annual journals show up in my mailbox with a one-two punch of stimulating new reading. No sooner had I begun flipping through Tin House when another thick issue of Conjunctions opened up even more impediments to my often chaotic published reading lists. But I’m not complaining!

Newly published:  Conjunctions:70, Sanctuary: The Preservation Issue

Start your summer reading with innovative new work by Diane Ackerman, Heather Altfeld, Rae Armantrout, Mary Jo Bang, Mauro Javier Cardenas, J’Lyn Chapman, Julia Elliott, Andrew Ervin, William Gaddis, Peter Gizzi, Rae Gouirand, Robin Hemley, Troy Jollimore, Robert Karron, Madeline Kearin, Marshall Klimasewiski, Byron Landry, Nam Le, Maria Lioutaia, Andrew Mossin, Debra Nystrom, Toby Olson, Peter Orner, Richard Powers, Jessica Reed, Donald Revell, Elizabeth Robinson, Joanna Ruocco, Kyra Simone, Erin Singer, Maya Sonenberg, Donna Stonecipher, Arthur Sze, S. P. Tenhoff, Daniel Torday, and Frederic Tuten.

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More Winter Reading From Tin House

VOLUME 19, Number 2: Winter Reading

Dad couldn’t stop smiling as he demonstrated the trap’s operation. The inner workings were so efficient that it barely made a noise, just a faint click and a soft flourish like an umbrella being opened. Dad had designed the trap to accommodate a raccoon the size of a sheepdog, but he still worried that it might maim the creature if it wasn’t calibrated just right. Eventually he went into the garage to take from the deep freeze one of the birthday cakes he’d purchased for bait, placing it on my skateboard and rolling it to the middle of the platform. If the cake survived the trap he said we could celebrate by having it for dessert that night.

So writes Seth Fried as he takes us on a family’s strange and tender journey to capture a mischievous raccoon.

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More Winter Reading

TH70-SK-1.jpgThe most recent Winter Reading edition of Tin House magazine is out and for many it will provide welcome relief from all those big fat books calling us from our bucket lists.

I find literary journals such as Tin House and Conjunctions both introduce me to new and often exciting authors, but they also provide a less demanding effort on my part, if only in that such journals generally contain shorter pieces and excerpts. This allows the little gray cells to rejuvenate while still being jiggled around a bit.

I find this especially important in the winter months when I might not be able to run around in the sun to restore my batteries (actually, I don’t run around anywhere nowadays … my best exercise comes from a rousing coughing binge).

Here is what the editor says about the #70 issue of Tin House:

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