Issue 63


Spring 2015
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Anton Chekhov / Ernest Hemingway
Editor's Note

Rejection. Every writer faces it. But more interesting than the ways writers have been rejected are the ways writers reject. For Paul Beatty, the rejection is of our nation’s shameful legacy of racism. In “Looking for Suzanne,” Chris Kraus’s rejected narrator tries to put the pieces of his enigmatic ex together, while in Claire Vaye Watkins’s “The Call,” futuristic California seems to have rejected everyone. Translators Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky refuse to accept that the classic translations of Russian classics are sacred, and have made a career of breathing new life into Anna Karenina, War and Peace, and Selected Stories of Anton Chekhov, among many others. And channeling their spirit, perhaps, we embrace the opportunity to publish one of Chekhov’s previously untranslated stories, “Artists’ Wives.” Not to be outdone, even from the grave, Hemingway weighs in with a pugilistic letter, also previously unpublished. We all know what being rejected feels like. So it seemed like a gift to offer a handful of writers, including Mitchell S. Jackson and Leslie Jamison, the opportunity to pen their own rejection letters. James Patterson, one of the best-selling authors of all time, addresses us all, urging us to reject rejection and rally around the flag of reading. And poet Mary Ruefle has the last word, flat out rejecting Tin House. Ouch. But you, dear readers, must know we’ll never reject you.

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Table of Contents


Paul Beatty
The Sellout
Claire Vaye Watkins
The Call
Anton Chekhov
Artists’ Wives
Translated by Maria Bolshteyn

Eric Puchner
Liz Ziemska
The Mushroom
Chris Kraus
Looking for Suzanne
Nancy Reisman
Cumulative Effects
Jessamine Chan
The Mansion District
Peter Orner
Maggie Brown


Yusef Komunyakaa
Et Tu, Brutus?
The Fool
The Raven Master
Melissa Broder
Man’s Search for Meaning
Cadaver Lamb
Forgotten Sound
Rachel Jamison Webster
Red Bird
Charles Simic
Fair-Weather Friends
My Goddess
Ghost Cinema
Gretchen Marquette
Love, Despite
David Rivard
Lucky Day Still


Debra Gwartney
We All Must Live by the Rules
Ann Hodgman
Against Locavores

Rejection Letters

James Patterson
Dear Readers
Leslie Jamison
Dear E.
Mitchell S. Jackson
Dear Gordon Lish
Ernest Hemingway
Dear Ernest Walsh
Mary Ruefle
Dear Tin House


Richard Pevear and Larissa Volokhonsky

Lost & Found

William Todd Seabrook
On L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth
Emma Komlos-Hrobsky
On Louise Fitzhugh’s The Long Secret
Ryan Chang
On Thomas Bernhard’s Concrete
Robin Wasserman
On Arthur Koestler’s The Sleepwalkers
Siyanda Mohutsiwa
On Bessie Head’s When Rain Clouds Gather