Before the moment passes and a new issue arrives, I want to nominate last week’s New Yorker as one of the “must-reads” in the pile that stacks up in house. The high-quality contents include:
- new fiction, “Sweetness,” by Toni Morrison, intently focused on a black mother’s obsession with her daughter’s darker skin and what that will mean for her in the world (presumably an excerpt from her forthcoming novel God Help the Child);
- “Lottery Tickets,” Elizabeth Alexander’s wrenching Personal History essay dealing which what happened when her husband dropped dead of a heart attack;
- Rebecca Mead’s profile of Lin-Manuel Miranda, whose musical Hamilton at the Public Theater has gotten unusually good word-of-mouth in advance of its opening February 17;
- Alice Gregory’s moving and instructional tech-focused article (“R U There?”) about how crisis counseling via text message has turned out to be surprisingly effective; and
- best of all, “The Trip Treatment,” very very interesting article by Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma and other books, mostly about food) about about clinical research into using psilocybin to treat patients with depression, anxiety, and terminal illnesses.