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Tin House – 2004


Volume 19

Spring 2004

Gina Kokes

“Humans love to lie,” notes editor Win McCormack of Tin House Magazine.

“Humans love to lie,” notes editor Win McCormack of Tin House Magazine. So why not devote an entire issue to blatant untruths, sly deceptions, wrong impressions, wondrous confabulation? Viola! Introducing: “Lies!” the spring volume of this spunky quarterly literary magazine. Starting out with serious lies, McCormack’s essays on the Bush Administration “Their Unspoken Credo: Perpetual Deception” and “From the Horses’ Mouth, A Compendium of Bush Administration Lies,” questions not only the veracity of our government but whether facts are manipulated to promote specific ideologies. Trust me – your heart will race either in fear of the president’s hypocrisy or in desire to avenge your man. Although the political arena is fertile ground for falsehood, the majority of the magazine focuses on non-partisan lying. My favorite short stories include Nancy Reisman’s “False Starts” a story about the easy refuge a secret life can provide and Amy Bloom’s “I love to See You Coming, I Hate to See You Go,” a complex tale of older married lovers. The essays are remarkable. Charles D’Ambrosio explores his appearance as a character in an ex-lover’s novel in “Any Resemblance to Anyone Living,” and Mark Strand’s piece about translating the poetry of a man who was shot through the pages of his manuscript is haunting. The venerable James Tate contributes two poems and Jane Hirshfield’s “The Story” reminds us of the ultimate cost of mendacity—“I had promised myself to its hands.”[Tin House, P.O. Box 10500, Portland, OR 97210. E-mail: [email protected]. Single issue $17. www.tinhouse.com] – GK

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