The New Yorker Archive

Weekly Round-Up: NEA Cuts, Man Booker Prize, and F. Scott Fitzgerald

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From NEA budget cuts to a new F. Scott Fitzgerald story, here's the latest literary news.

Looking Back at Bright Lights, Big City

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The New York Times was not impressed with Bright Lights, Big City when it first appeared in 1984. “A clever, breezy--and in the end, facile documentary,” was what they said.

What Country?

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In a 2001 Penguin introduction to the novel, Colm Tóibín writes: “In Another Country, Baldwin created the essential American drama of the century.” Baldwin’s novel is rife with symbols of life in the USA: jazz, cocktails, the movies, and the idea of “making it.” It’s a story of searching

The Best Essay I Read This Month: “Who Are All These Trump Supporters?” by George Saunders

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It’s easy—reflexive, even—to be snarky and closed off to genuine emotion when writing about this election season, which is why it’s nice to read a piece rooted in genuine concern and the desire to understand people, especially people whose beliefs seem to us impossibly far removed from our own.

The Best Essay I Read This Month: “Citizen Khan” by Kathryn Schulz

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It is a good thing that Kathryn Schulz’s “Citizen Khan” was published in The New Yorker, because it is so eerily textbook perfect a piece of longform feature writing that had it come through a lesser fact-checking department, I might have worried some of the details were made up.

Round-Up: NEW YORKER Poem Controversy, PEN/Faulkner Award, and Rare Shakespeare First Folio

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From a New Yorker poem sparking widespread criticism to a newly discovered First Folio, here’s what went on last week in literary news: Controversy arose last week around a poem by Calvin Trillin published in The New Yorker. The poem, titled “Have They Run Out of Provinces Yet?”, sparked criticism from

Weathering/Writing the Storms

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In an episode of Master of None, Dev and Arnold walk home from a mostly uneventful night out at a bar. One remarks how cold it is. The other says it’s supposed to be nicer the next day. Dev acknowledges how cliché and potentially banal the topic at hand

Drunken Acknowledgments, 2 A.M.

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A book is a labor of love, and this novel would not have been possible without the help of several people, and several bottles of wine—the last of which I’m enjoying right now. Infinite thanks to my editor, X, who talked me out of six bad titles, seven ill-advised

The Ploughshares Round Down: Short Stories as a Path to Literary Success

I’m going to let you in on a little secret about the submissions in my slush pile. When one comes in, the first thing I do–before I have even read the first sentence of the letter–is skim it for the name of a publication I recognize. If I don’t

The Ploughshares Round-Down: We’re Over-Reliant on the Bucket List

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Having long hated the term “bucket list,” and having nevertheless thought about making one for myself (#MomentsOfWeakness), I was a complete sucker for Rebecca Mead’s recent New Yorker essay in which she questions its merits. In “Kicking the Bucket List,”  Mead asks whether such a list actually helps us carpe diem-ize our otherwise thoughtless lives, arguing that