Patrick Madden teaches writing at Brigham Young University and is the author of the essay collection Quotidiana. His essays frequently appear in literary magazines and have been featured in The Best Creative Nonfiction and The Best American Spiritual Writing anthologies....more
Posts Tagged: Tin House
At the Atlantic, Nathan Scott McNamara provides an optimistic view of the symbiotic relationship between massive corporate publishers and small indie houses. Profiling energetic presses like Graywolf, Coffee House, Two Dollar Radio, and Dorothy, McNamara argues:
…by inventing new models rather than trying to repeat past success, by valuing ingenuity over magnitude, by thinking of sales as a way to make great books possible rather than the point—indie presses aren’t just becoming the places where the best books are published; they’re already there.
We have an unfortunate tendency to let motherhood eclipse all aspects of a person’s identity—and then to turn around and call motherhood a faulty aspiration. Luckily there are moms like Antonia Malchik who write anyway, and implore us to remember moms like Elinore Pruitt Stewart, who ventured out onto the Wyoming frontier with her daughter:
Why is work like Thoreau’s lauded and the writings of Stewart hardly known?
There’s a treasure trove of poetry recommendations at Tin House’s Open Bar. Jessica Lakritz’s Sex on Sundaze is alive: she writes her lines on human bodies. One Tin House staff member declares, “Poetry is the hard liquor of literature, and I choose to douse myself in Rattle [the poetry magazine].”...more
I think that everyone writes for an ideal reader. Mine are friends in my heads, some of whom are no longer with me, with us.
Darryl Pinckney, author of Black Deutschland, in conversation with Rob Spillman, author of All Tomorrow’s Parties and the editor of Tin House, talks about Berlin before and after the Wall: liberal paradise, impossibly long days and nights, cultural guilt, and raves....more
Liu Xia’s burden has become too heavy. Her heart is beginning to fail. In isolation, she can only stare at a tree through her window, a tree that a bird can only dwell on:
Is it a tree?
It’s me, alone.
Earlier this month, Steven Millhauser released Voices in the Night, a new collection of short stories. On Tuesday, the Boston Globe described the towns of many of the stories in this newest effort as “Millhauserian,” which Eugenia Williamson defines as places where “characters must process their encounters with the uncanny without breaking their rose-colored glasses.”
Such is the case in Millhauser’s “Sons and Mothers,” which first appeared in the Winter 2012 issue of Tin House....more
It’s that time of year again, where writers young and old, from all corners of the country, come to congregate in one gigantic, frenetic, neurotic, alcohol-infused crowd, in a couple of fancy hotels no one can really afford, to stay in and talk shop (or not, depending on how your writing’s been this year)....more
Chalk it up to a week where Twitter just felt like too much. Chalk it up to good ol’ nostalgia for the feel of a hefty book in your hands. Or maybe, just chalk it up to an aligning of stars that placed nine exceptional writers under the same roof....more
For all her artistic clout, critics continue to dismiss Miranda July as “cutesy” and “twee,” labels that reflect an inability to distinguish between her work and her persona. Over at Guernica, Tin House editor Rob Spillman argues in defense of whimsy:
Part of the reason that some find July’s literary success so galling is that she is not simply a novelist; she is “Miranda July” a continuingly evolving conceptual art project, as well as the writer, director, and star of two movies.
It’s only February, but 2015 is already proving to be a treasure trove of big happenings in the world of short stories. Take this past Tuesday, when Kelly Link, Charles Baxter, and Neil Gaiman all released new collections, undoubtedly making the world a few orders of magnitude weirder, smarter, and spookier....more
For the Tin House blog, Heather Hartley spends the holiday season perusing letters between T.S. Eliot and Groucho Marx. Through their love of “good cigars” and a “weakness for making puns,” Eliot and Marx show a humorous affection that inspires Hartley to do some letter writing of her own....more
As the story goes, nearly 100 years ago a group of Surrealist artists gathered together and put a new spin on an old parlor game called Consequences. The meeting resulted in their collective authorship of this phrase: “The/ exquisite/ corpse/ will/ drink/ the/ young/ wine.” Now familiar to many writers by the name of “Exquisite Corpse,” the game requires at least three participants who send round a single sheet of paper on which each member, looking only at the entry that came before him or her, makes a written or drawn contribution, folds over the paper, and passes it on to the next person....more
Always first aware not of the naked feeling itself but of the best way to phrase the feeling so as to avoid verbal repetition, you come to think of emotions as belonging to other people, being the world’s happy property and not yours—not really yours except by way of disingenuous circumlocution.
For me, the act of writing is all about getting rid of self-criticism, and at the same time I have an almost religious belief in literature. These two kingdoms are impossible to unite. So what I do, apparently, is try to write great literature for four or five years, until the level of frustration becomes so high that it starts to tear down the wall between me and my text, or, differently put: I start not to care.
They talk about cohesion in short-story collections, faraway settings, and van den Berg’s collection of ceramic Loch Ness monsters. A preview:
…the women I write about are often seduced by the ugliness and the danger, by the violence or the promise of it—and they often end up paying a steep price for that seduction, in that moment where the promise of violence falls away and the bare, brutal reality of it appears.
Lucy Corin is on a roll. Her book, One Hundred Apocalypses And Other Apcoalypses is making the rounds and with 103 stories it has a long time to go before people are done talking about it. Check out this interview with Lucy from Tin House:
SJ: To go back to that idea of “owning where you’re standing”—what did that look like in writing the collection of apocalypses, which range pretty widely in terms of point-of-view, and voice, and relationship to character?