Tin House (Volume 20, Number 3) / by Rachel Griffiths

Cicero famously said, “Sweet is the memory of past troubles.” This bittersweet interplay that exists between remembered pain and joy is fertile ground for several of our authors. In “Flycatcher,” Aleksandar Hemon teases apart the subtle social navigations teenagers make, willingly or unwillingly, to distinguish themselves, and how these choices reverberate through time and memory. In Rachel Eliza Griffiths’s poem “Good Mother,” she writes, “We held on & praised the nameless thing / that makes us what we think we aren’t strong enough / to know.” The urge to stop time and with it a collective feeling, animates Maria Lioutaia’s story “Preservation,” in which Lenin’s preserved body begins to disintegrate and the mausoleum’s director turns to the living in order to suspend the inevitable.

As when you experience spring, when you read great writing you can feel as if there are powerful, unseen forces just below the surface. You can feel their pull, and you probably have a very strong sense of what they look and feel like. Sometimes it helps to have someone help you see and name them. Let our writers be your guide in this time of renewal and regeneration. Happy, or at least thought-provoking, spring.