In this week’s New Yorker

March 15, 2012

Two strong reporting pieces anchor this week’s New Yorker: James B. Stewart’s pitilessly detailed explanation (“Tax Me If You Can”) of how super-wealthy New Yorkers try to get out of paying NYC residential taxes and Francisco Goldman’s absorbing story, “Children of the Dirty War,” about the ardent and unflagging efforts of the mothers and grandmothers of Argentina’s “disappeared” population murdered by the military junta between 1976 to 1983. Goldman’s story focuses on how babies born to mothers who were then “disappeared” were given to childless couples in the military and political elite, and how the advent of DNA testing has allowed the Abuelas de Plaza de Mayo to reunite those children with what remains of their birth families. In particular, Goldman zeroes in on two (now-grown) children adopted by the head of Argentina’s Clarin media empire, who have become their own surreal tabloid story.

I also enjoyed David Owen’s essay on scars, which matches my own pervy appreciation of scars, my own and others, because of the extremely individual personal history they tell, written on the body. Rivka Galchen’s short story “Appreciation” also hilariously captures the contemporary New York (American?) fixation on money, income, and tax bracket.

Plus, you know, a terrific cartoon by Joe Dator:

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