COOKING AND STEALING: The Tin House Nonfiction Reader

House Tin, Author, Tin House, Author , intro. by Charles D'Ambrosio. Bloomsbury $15.95 (320p) ISBN 978-1-58234-486-7

The literary journal Tin House is distinctive for showcasing work by luminary scribes as well as relative unknowns, and although the result can be uneven, it can also be charming. This second anthology provides a glimpse of what sets Tin House apart from other such journals. Standout essays include riffs by Rick Moody on Brian Eno; Jeffrey Eugenides on a Nazi bunker; Kathryn Harrison on lice; and Sallie Tisdale on writing about her family. The collection's title comes from Amy Bloom's essay about the two activities she enjoyed most with a beloved childhood friend. It's an apt choice to highlight, since Bloom captures Tin House 's essence by blending humor, insight and a pinch of heartbreak, all within a few pages. The book's essays aren't grouped according to theme, resulting in a vague feeling of disorganization. However, this randomness highlights the range of topics covered. In Jean Nathan's "The Lonely Doll," the writer becomes obsessed with finding a children's book author and discovers a more bizarre and fascinating tale than she'd anticipated. Next comes Elissa Schappell's "Sex and the Single Squirrel," about people who find erotic satisfaction while dressed as animals. Subsequent essays address various topics, but nearly all have the same central core of self-reflection, observation and expert articulation. (Sept. 20)

Reviewed on: 08/30/2004
Release date: 09/01/2004
Genre: Nonfiction
Prebound-Other - 978-1-4177-2626-4
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