Twice a year we set sail on a new issue without a theme to guide us. We open ourselves up to the universe. We search the skies and look to the stars and the unknown for inspiration. This summer we present a constellation new to us, Jodi Angel. At a reading with Tin House favorites Ron Carlson and Dorothy Allison, I heard Angel read “A Good Deuce,” her story of a rural California teen dealing with the aftermath of a mother’s overdose, and it blew me away. Afterward, I took the story out of Angel’s hands to see if it was as good on the page as it was in the ether. It was. And is. See for yourself. Literary cult-hero Gary Lutz appears in our pages for the first time with his prickly, language-driven story “Divorcer,” while Walter Mosley offers a deceptively smooth story in “Familiar Music.” Curious as to why Terrance Hayes won the 2010 National Book Award? You’ll find your answer here. In this issue, we interview Belgian Jean-Philippe Toussaint (with an excerpt from his new novel, The Truth About Marie) and Nashville’s Ann Patchett, author of the international bestselling sensation Bel Canto, returning to South America with her new novel, State of Wonder, set mainly in the Brazilian jungle. Patchett tells us that she is equally influenced by The Magic Mountain and The Poseidon Adventure, and derives pleasure and inspiration from traveling to see her friend Renee Fleming perform on the world’s great opera stages as well as from her tranquil home life. Whatever her winning formula, we hope the strange alchemy keeps working. As Bill Moyers once said, “Creativity is piercing the mundane to find the marvelous.” We wish everyone a summer filled with the marvelous.