• Shortcuts : 'n' next unread feed - 'p' previous unread feed • Styles : 1 2

» Publishers, Monetize your RSS feeds with FeedShow:  More infos  (Show/Hide Ads)


Date: Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 14:30

This week, we’re highlighting five of our favorite science stories from The New Yorker’s archive—stories that capture, in different ways, the thrills, challenges, sacrifices, and satisfactions of the scientific life.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Eleven Posts You May Have Missed This Week
Pictures from My War
Cover Story: Barry Blitt’s “Illegal Procedure”
Author: "Joshua Rothman and Erin Overbey"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Saturday, 20 Sep 2014 13:02

At Wondering Sound, Judnick Mayard writes about the music of Notorious B.I.G., and the memories the music evokes for her, in an essay about growing up in Brooklyn when his début album “Ready to Die” was released, in 1994. “When I listen to Ready to Die, I feel a nostalgia for the way we were, but I also remember that I would never have actually wanted to run into Biggie in 1994,” she writes. “He was already a teen by the time I was born, but it was still a long time before Brooklyn became the New Manhattan.” Mayard explores the role that Biggie’s music had in her life and how it stands as an artifact of a specific place and time.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Eleven Posts You May Have Missed This Week
Pictures from My War
Cover Story: Barry Blitt’s “Illegal Procedure”

Author: "Matthew McKnight"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Friday, 19 Sep 2014 03:38

A few weeks ago, I finished reading the Library of America’s six-volume, sixty-eight-hundred-page edition of the novels of Henry James. I’m a sucker for completist projects, but this one came about more or less by accident. It took me a couple of years, and I didn’t undertake it in an especially devoted or systematic way. I had always considered James one of my favorite writers, largely on the basis of a few long novels (“The Portrait of a Lady,” “The Ambassadors”) and short stories (“The Aspern Papers,” “The Figure in the Carpet”). But I knew him less well than any other figure in my personal canon. Once you’ve gotten beyond the bright constellation of the major works, it can be hard to know where to go with James’s writing; there’s so much of it, and no one seems to agree on what’s what. James himself tried to address the problem late in life, with the revised “New York Edition” of his writing. But this only complicated matters, because he left out some of his best work, including “Washington Square.”


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
The Awkward Age
Can She Be Loved? On “Washington Square”
What You Won’t Learn from Writers’ Letters

Author: "Christopher Beha"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Wednesday, 17 Sep 2014 19:50

Jean Merrill’s “The Pushcart War,” published in 1964, is an exceptionally odd children’s book. I don’t mean just that it does without vampires, magic, futuristic dystopian overlords, or any of the other trendy kid-lit staples of the moment. Merrill, who died two years ago, does something rarer and more interesting: she does almost entirely without children. Kids, tweens, teens, young adults: they appear only briefly, and always at the plot’s far edges. This may not sound all that radical, but can you name another children’s book, from any era, with adult protagonists? Can you name two?


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Virginia Woolf, Edith Wharton, and a Case of Anxiety of Influence
Can Authors Move Amazon’s Board?
Eleven Posts You May Have Missed This Week

Author: "Peter C. Baker"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Tuesday, 16 Sep 2014 19:04

“A Sentimental Novel,” the final published work of the novelist and theorist Alain Robbe-Grillet, appeared in France four months before his death, in 2008, and in English translation last spring. The content of the novel contributed to the lag in its translation: “A Sentimental Novel” (reviewed this summer in Briefly Noted) is a compendium of Robbe-Grillet’s sadistic fantasies, which, he said, he had catalogued since adolescence. The work consists of two hundred and thirty-nine numbered paragraphs that form a sort of sadist’s rhapsody about the sexual initiation of a fourteen-year-old girl, Gigi. Gigi’s travails are recounted in exacting detail, against a lushly imagined mise-en-scène, with elaborate furnishings, torture devices, and a proliferation of young companions.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Author: "Elisabeth Zerofsky"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Monday, 15 Sep 2014 13:49

When The New Yorker published its very first fashion issue, in November of 1994, Adam Gopnik led off his Comment with a question: Why does fashion matter? One answer he gave, and we’re inclined to agree with him, is that it’s simply fun. Fashion doesn’t necessarily have to be about something larger than itself, and the arbitrary pleasure one derives from it can often be its own reward. For this collection, which marks the publication of our thirty-sixth Style Issue, we’ve pulled together nine classic pieces on fashion, covering everything from the fashion world’s early influence on self-expression to the rise of style blogging.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
A Referendum on the Union Jack
Abercrombie & Fitch’s No-Go Logo
The Global Business of Sartorial Slumming
Author: "Joshua Rothman and Erin Overbey"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Monday, 15 Sep 2014 12:00

This week’s story, “Jack, July,” is about a twenty-two-year-old, Jack, who’s coming down from a meth high on a hot July 4th in Tucson. Did you have Jack’s voice in your head when you started working on the story?

For me, a story always begins with a voice. Often, the first few paragraphs or pages arrive in my head—a kind of music or rhythm, which I then follow, in an attempt to discover what’s on my mind. I like to stay dumb, as a writer, especially in the early stages of creating a story. I’ll trip myself up if I try to control things or pretend that I know more than I really do. In many ways, “Jack, July” started with body language as much as with voice. I could absolutely picture Jack’s way of moving down the street—and I realized pretty quickly that I was dealing with a person reeling from some kind of intoxicant. In Tucson, you’ll often see someone marching down the road or standing at a bus stop with this very odd, twitchy behavior. Of course, meth is everywhere in Arizona. The neighborhood in which I live slides quickly from working class to something a little more provisional. Sometimes I run into these jumpy, jangled individuals at the Safeway, a supermarket not far from my house. At the Safeway, you get to see the real Tucson, not the bubble world of Whole Foods. Many Tucsonans are poor, really struggling. Coming from a working-class family, I find myself drawn to these sorts of characters: characters who appear to have less armor and artifice. Somehow their exhaustion seems to unmask them.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Fiction Podcast: Nathan Englander Reads John Cheever
This Week in Fiction: Joseph O’Neill
This Week in Fiction: Tessa Hadley

Author: "Cressida Leyshon"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Saturday, 13 Sep 2014 13:00

All four of the pieces I admired this week are rooted in the great expanses of the American West. First, there’s Kathryn Schulz’s story in New York magazine, which deals with the landscape itself. Schulz revisits the scene of the Mann Gulch forest fire, a 1949 conflagration in Montana that killed eleven smoke jumpers and, many years later, became the subject of the book “Young Men and Fire,” by Norman Maclean. At the heart of the Mann Gulch story, as Maclean told it—and as it later spread, in inspirational and self-help books—was the survival of one firefighter who, in the face of an onrushing wall of fire, lit a new fire and burned a clearing around himself. Maclean’s book became a seminal text of forest-fire management, but Schulz questions whether the lessons drawn from the story are the wrong ones, and whether “Young Men and Fire” is a chapter in a long history of a grossly misguided approach to fighting forest fires.
See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
American Recreation: A Field Study
Virginia Woolf’s Idea of Privacy
A Tornado Hits Moore, Oklahoma

Author: "Andrea DenHoed"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Friday, 12 Sep 2014 15:40

I am pressing my fingertips down onto the keys of my laptop, a sequence of movements that is somehow making these words appear on a screen in front of me. At some point, over the next couple of days, once a sufficient number of words has appeared on that screen in a manner I can just about live with, I will sign in to my e-mail account and send a file containing them to an editor several thousand miles away. Not long after that, you will be able to read these words on a screen much like the one I am looking at, or perhaps on a smaller screen, one that you hold in the palm of your hand as a talisman against the passing minutes and hours.

Let me ask you a question about all of this: Do you have the slightest idea how any of it works? Because I certainly don’t. My computer, my phone, my mind—I don’t know what’s going on with any of these things. I don’t understand them; I just use them. (And perhaps one of the effects of not understanding them, of just using them, is not understanding the extent to which I am used by them.)


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
An Attempt to Discover the Laws of Literature
Rocking Out to “War and Peace”
Oprah Winfrey, Book Critic

Author: "Mark O'Connell"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 14:17

When I moved to the U.S. Virgin Islands after college, for a job at a local newspaper, everyone I met told me that I had to read Herman Wouk’s “Don’t Stop the Carnival.” It was the best novel ever set in the Virgin Islands. The funniest. Wouk, people said, gets island life exactly right. Never mind that no one north of the eighteenth parallel had heard of the book. You could find copies for sale in virtually every gift shop and bookstore from Tortola to Grenada. I found a tattered hardcover in the newspaper’s office and finished it in a day or two. It was dated, but a fun read.

Wouk, the author of “The Caine Mutiny” and “Marjorie Morningstar,” lived on St. Thomas from 1958 until 1964. (He is now ninety-nine.) He moved to the island to escape the distractions of New York City. While there, in his big house on a hill, he started writing “The Winds of War,” a major novel about the Second World War. He also made time to write something lighter. “Don’t Stop the Carnival,” published in 1965, is a zippy farce about a Broadway press agent and self-described “good New York liberal,” Norman Paperman, who sees an ad in The New Yorker listing a funky Caribbean hotel for sale, flies south, and buys it. A large cast of eccentrics surrounds Paperman and drives the mostly slapstick narrative. His vision of paradise (green hills, snowy sand, azure sea) is soon crowded off the page by baroque catastrophe (scheming contractor, bursting cistern, island bureaucracy). Racism, intolerance, imperialism, cronyism, and alcoholism become the leitmotifs. Characters start getting killed. Paperman sells the hotel as quickly as he bought it and flees back to New York.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
In the News: A Soupçon of Sarcasm, Kafka Porn

Author: "Carolyn Kormann"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Thursday, 11 Sep 2014 04:05

“A four-year-old girl and her babysitter called from the library, and pointed out through the window the smoking top of the north tower, not a mile away.” That’s how John Updike found out about 9/11, according to the Talk of the Town story he wrote for the September 24, 2001, issue of this magazine. In that issue—the first published after 9/11—Updike and eight writers grappled with the September 11th attacks: Updike, Jonathan Franzen, Denis Johnson, Roger Angell, Aharon Appelfeld, Rebecca Mead, Susan Sontag, Amitav Ghosh, and Donald Antrim. That special Talk section is now available online in its entirety; you can read it here.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
The Twenty-Eight Pages
Books to Watch Out For: September
Against “Against [X]”
Author: "The New Yorker"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 23:19

In 1961, John Cheever bought the only house he ever owned, in Ossining, New York. It was one of the most important moments of his life, his daughter, the writer and biographer Susan Cheever, told me as we toured the house recently. The Dutch Colonial, which is currently on the market, dates back to 1795, but it was rebuilt in the nineteen-twenties by Eric Gugler, the architect who designed the Oval Office for Franklin D. Roosevelt. Regarding the purchase, Cheever wrote:

The closing; and so I have at last bought a house. Coming home on the train, Mary speaks of the complexity of our lives … and it does seem rich and vast, like the history of China. We move books. To Holy Communion, where I first express my gratitude for safe travels, luck with money, love, and children. I pray that our life in the new house will be peaceful and full. I pray to be absolved of my foolishness and to be returned to the liveliness, the acuteness of feeling, that seems to be my best approach to things.

 


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Rob Stothard at the Scottish Border
Kerry Claims U.S. Has Found a Moderate Syrian Rebel
Trend Piece

Author: "A.N. Devers"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 21:36

Whether you experience it vicariously through your children, or are simply reliving your own school days, it’s difficult when Labor Day comes around not to feel those old butterfly stirrings of anxiety and anticipation. School, from kindergarten to twelfth grade, is rich terrain for tumult and transformation, and it can be thrilling to see those upheavals explored in fiction. The ur-school story in The New Yorker was, of course, Muriel Spark’s “The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” which took up almost an entire issue of the magazine in October, 1961. (Subscribers can read it in full here.) For this collection, we took a look at more recent depictions of the educational life.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Daily Cartoon: Wednesday, September 3rd
Back-to-School Time!
Crime and Punishment

Author: "Deborah Treisman"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Monday, 08 Sep 2014 12:00

This week’s story, “The Dinosaurs on Other Planets,” is about a couple whose daughter returns home unexpectedly for a visit with their grandson. Did you have a clear sense of the family dynamics that would come into play before you started working on the story?

The dynamics took a while to reveal themselves. Pavel, for example, the boyfriend of the couple’s daughter, Emer, didn’t feature at all in the earliest draft. There was a point when I thought it would be a more straightforward “empty-nesters” story, without the involvement of a third-party love interest. Going back over my drafts, I see that another story line I considered was that of grandparents anxious to retain access to their grandchild, in circumstances where their son, the child’s father, had emigrated and they didn’t have a good relationship with the child’s mother. Yet another had Emer brought home from London by her parents because she was ill.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Runway Rundown: New York’s Fashion Spectacular
Obama Unable to Sleep After Learning Limbaugh Liked His Speech
Weekend Reading: Forest Fires, Body Farms, Lucinda Williams, and More

Author: "Cressida Leyshon"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Saturday, 06 Sep 2014 14:00

John Pridmore is an Englishman and a Christian who has “preached to more than a million people worldwide.” When we first meet him, though, in Will Storr’s “Plot Twist,” Pridmore is “an enforcer for the gang that supplied London’s West End with most of its drugs.” We’re told that Pridmore once tracked down someone and “punched the man to the floor, knelt on his throat, took him by the ears and smashed his head against the curb,” showing no mercy or remorse, even as the man’s six-year-old son watched the scene. Through Pridmore, Storr explores the psychology of transformation, spiritual awakenings, and the stories we tell ourselves. How many times, and in how many ways, can a person really change?
See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Author: "Matthew McKnight"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 20:10

The Neapolitan novels by the Italian writer Elena Ferrante are a series of (so far) three books about the lifelong friendship between two women, and when I read them I find that I never want to stop. I feel vexed by the obstacles—my job, or acquaintances on the subway—that threaten to keep me apart from the books. I mourn separations (a year until the next one—how?). I am propelled by a ravenous will to keep going.


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Eleven Posts You May Have Missed This Week
Books to Watch Out For: September
Fiction Podcast: Nathan Englander Reads John Cheever

Author: "Molly Fischer"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Sentence   New window
Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 13:00
Author: "Mikhail Iossel"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Thursday, 04 Sep 2014 02:24

Notes from the book closet on new and forthcoming titles that caught our eye.

The season of big novels is upon us. Out this month are Ian McEwan’s “The Children Act” (Nan A. Talese), on September 9th, about a high-court judge trying the case of a teen-age Jehovah’s Witness whose parents refuse to allow him to receive possibly life-saving blood transfusions; Martin Amis’s “The Zone of Interest” (Knopf), on September 30th, which follows two Nazi officers and a Jewish Sonderkommando in the fictionalized Auschwitz that also served as the setting of Amis’s 1991 novel, “Time’s Arrow”; and David Mitchell’s time-leaping, über-interconnected “The Bone Clocks” (Random House), on September 2nd, which James Wood reviews in this week’s magazine. Hilary Mantel also returns with a book of short stories, “The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher” (Henry Holt), on September 30th. Here are some other new titles to look for:


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Reacting to September 11th
Eleven Posts You May Have Missed This Week
Elena Ferrante and the Force of Female Friendships

Author: "Rachel Arons and Andrea DenHoed"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Wednesday, 03 Sep 2014 18:07

On this month’s fiction podcast, Nathan Englander reads John Cheever’s short story “The Enormous Radio,” which first appeared in The New Yorker in 1947. It tells the story of Jim and Irene Westcott, an Upper East Side husband and wife whose careful sense of propriety gets rattled when Jim buys an expensive new radio that allows them to overhear the conversations of their neighbors. Here are the Westcotts upon first discovering the machine’s peculiar powers:


See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Eleven Posts You May Have Missed This Week
Elena Ferrante and the Force of Female Friendships
Books to Watch Out For: September

Author: "The New Yorker"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Date: Tuesday, 02 Sep 2014 21:24

Today marks the publication of the ninety-fourth annual edition of “Writer’s Market”—that standby of aspiring writers and the bane of slush-pile-reading interns. A holdout from the time of Underwood typewriters and S.A.S.E.s, the print version of “Writer’s Market” soldiers on in an era of Mediabistro and Submittable. But the creators of the series didn’t invent pitch guides. Credit for that belongs to a nineteenth-century suffragette working from her Brooklyn apartment. Largely forgotten today, Eleanor Kirk was “the most pronounced of the women’s rights women,” as the New York Herald put it in 1870—a firebrand spoken of in the same breath as Susan B. Anthony and Elizabeth Cady Stanton. Widowed twice before she turned forty, left with five children to support, Kirk cast aside her old name, Eleanor Maria Easterbrook Ames, and reinvented herself as a sharp-elbowed reporter for the New York Standard—“Not an erasure, not an addition, no alterations,” she once warned a meddling editor.
See the rest of the story at newyorker.com

Related:
Amazon’s Failed Pitch to Authors
Second “Julie & Julia” Post of the Day
The Exchange: Steve Hely

Author: "Paul Collins"
Send by mail Print  Save  Delicious 
Next page
» You can also retrieve older items : Read
» © All content and copyrights belong to their respective authors.«
» © FeedShow - Online RSS Feeds Reader