Issue 61


Fall 2014
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Jess Walter / Annie Baker / Tony Hoagland
Editor's Note

Globalism’s ascendance was supposed to send tribalism the way of the dodo. Yet from Waziristan to Williamsburg, tribal affiliations still dictate social order. There may now be more societal fluidity, but finding one’s tribe within nomadic urban cultures has never felt more urgent. And the tales told within ancient or temporary tribes shape and define these societal organizations. In this issue we turn to our favorite storytellers and poets, hoping to arrest time long enough for them to show us what life is like in our contemporary tribes. There are Julia Elliott’s cavemen and cavewomen wannabes in her story “Caveman Diet” and Alice Sola Kim’s teenage Korean American adoptees trying to find their place in the suburban jungles of “Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying.” Roxane Gay looks at the complicated way her Haitian American family handles the consumption of food from both countries. We asked five very different writers—Stacey D’Erasmo, Tayari Jones, David Shields, Zak Smith, and Molly Ringwald—to give us short takes on moments of belonging (or not). The poets, including Tony Hoagland, Cate Marvin, and Eavan Boland, naturally cut to the emotional core of what it means to claim or to be claimed by a tightly bound group.Whatever your other tribes, because you have read these words, we now consider you part of the Tin House tribe. No initiation rituals or signifying tattoos necessary, just please enjoy the issue.

A note about the digital versions: If you read on a Kindle, use the Mobipocket edition; for all other e-readers, use the ePub edition.

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Table of Contents


Alice Sola Kim
Mothers, Lock Up Your Daughters Because They Are Terrifying
Tove Jansson
Letters to Konikova
translated by Thomas Teal

Jess Walter
Mr. Voice
Julia Elliott
Caveman Diet
Alexander Chee
The Insincere House


Tony Hoagland
The Roman Empire
Crazy Motherfucker Weather
Cate Marvin
Chilly Voice in the Tropics
Slaughter and Wisteria
Maya C. Popa
The Government has been Canceled
Mine’s Not a Political Heart
Eavan Boland
Talking to My Daughter Late at Night
An Island of Daughters
Jenny Browne
Family in Florida
Sighing Fills the Air of Limbo
Jennifer S. Cheng
from Letters to Mao
Thomas Sayers Ellis
How to Tell if You Are a Literary Dick Disguised as a Pee You Ess Ess Why


Mike Smith
Place Names of 501 Filomeno
Elissa Altman
The Plot
Sara Roahen
Glitter and Glue Gun
Robert Anthony Siegel

Members Only

Stacey D’Erasmo
Body & Soul
Tayari Jones
A Different World
David Shields
Letter to James Franco
Zak Smith
What Will You Say When They Ask You Why Everything Is Terrible?
Molly Ringwald
Are You My Tribe?


Annie Baker and Benjamin Nugent

Lost & Found

Matthew Specktor
On Eve Babitz’s Slow Days, Fast Company
Eric Nelson
On Sam Greenlee’s The Spook Who Sat by the Door
Maria Bustillos
On Thomas Klise’s The Last Western
Sharon Sook Yan Wong
On José Donoso’s The Obscene Bird of Night
Ann DeWitt
On Frank Stanford’s The Battlefield Where the Moon Says I Love You

Readable Feast

Roxane Gay
The Islands We Are