In this week’s New Yorker

November 11, 2012

Aside from Adrian Tomine’s spiritually if not literally accurate depiction of Election Day in Sandy-smashed New York City (above), I was taken by three major features:

* Wendell Steavenson’s “Letter from Cairo,” detailing the disturbing backlash against women in post-Mubarak Egypt and the inspiring courage of the young women unwilling to shut up and stay home;

* Judith Thurman’s entertaining profile of Betty Halbreich, the crusty, truthtelling 85-year-old personal shopper at Bergdorf Goodman; and

*Alex Ross’s “Love on the March,” an intimately personal essay about several books on the history of the gay rights movement, most notably David Halperin’s How to Be Gay: Male Homosexuality and Initiation. Sample passage: “As Halperin puts it, ‘every identity is a role or an act.’ it’s just that straight-male performance is granted instant authenticity. Super Bowl Sunday, seen from a certain angle, is a pageant as intricate and contrived as the annual invasion of the drag queens on Fire Island.”

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