The three long features are all worth reading, for very different reasons.
Rebecca Mead’s “The Troll Slayer,” a profile of British classics scholar Mary Beard, is the most entertaining because its subject is so self-accepting and outspoken and reasonable.
The subject of William Finnegan’s “The Man Without a Mask” — Mexican drag queen wrestler Saul Armendariz, aka Cassandro — sounds both tough and tortured, not unreasonably, given the amazing life he’s lived and the profession he has pursued. It’s a world I knew nothing about. Check out this amazing photo by Katie Olinsky:
Connie Bruck’s “Friends of Israel” belongs to the category of Ugly Truths Department — one of the New Yorker’s political pieces that informs you about stuff you don’t really want to know but you really should, namely the negative impact that the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) has had on American politics by pouring tons of campaign money into Congress and enforcing an ironclad Israel-can-do-no-wrong attitude. Ugh. In its own way, AIPAC is as troublesome as the Koch brothers.
I gobbled up Lena Dunham’s “Difficult Girl,” but something about the glib way she plays her lifelong OCD for trendy status bugs me.
And another great cover by Eric Drooker, titled “Ferguson, Missouri”