Posts Tagged ‘jane kramer’

In last week’s New Yorker

October 22, 2015

recognition nyorker coverI haven’t done this in a while, and I’m still working my way through this week’s, but last week’s issue of the New Yorker was unusually stuffed with exceptional pieces worth catching up on:

  • “Thresholds of Violence,” Malcolm Gladwell’s riveting and disheartening report about how many school shootings specifically intend to replicate the massacre at Columbine. The piece leads and ends with a hair-raising account of a rampage that was aborted and concludes: “The problem is not that there is an endless supply of deeply disturbed young men who are willing to contemplate horrific acts. It’s worse. It’s that young men no longer need to be deeply disturbed to contemplate horrific acts.”
  • “Road Warrior,” Jane Kramer’s in-depth up-close-and-personal profile of Gloria Steinem, which increased my already high regard for the feminist icon exponentially.
  • “Drawing Blood,” in which reporter Adam Shatz introduced me to French-Arab cartoonist Riad Sattouf, whose book The Arab of the Future I can’t wait to read.
  • “Cold Little Bird,” Ben Marcus’s short story about a father struggling to adjust to the reality of his ten-year-old’s son personality change.
  • critical essays by Alex Ross and Hilton Als on two artists near and dear to my heart, Laurie Anderson and Sam Shepard (Hilton was kind enough to reference my Shepard biography in his review of the Broadway production of Fool for Love).

    Not to mention Adrian Tomine’s cover image (above), which will induce groans of recognition from many writers who live in NYC.

Quote of the day: FEAR

October 19, 2015


Men fear ridicule the way women fear violence.

–Gloria Steinem, quoted in Jane Kramer’s New Yorker profile (a must-read)

gloria steinem

In this week’s New Yorker

November 3, 2013

It’s the Food Issue, with terrific  in-depth stories on Greek yoghurt by Rebecca Mead, Adam Gopnik baking bread with his mother, the question of animals we love to much to eat by Dana Goodyear, and Italian superstar chef Massimo Bottura by Jane Kramer. Plus a few short takes, including one by Zadie Smith that I liked very much. And a short story by Thomas McGuane full of surprising and emotionally charged sentences called “Weight Watchers.”

weight watchers

In this week’s New Yorker

December 2, 2012

america bitch cartoonThe annual Food Issue isn’t one I look forward to with particular relish, but I gorged myself on this year’s, starting with a uniformly excellent Talk of the Town section, especially the pieces on dragonflies and Aimee Mann. Calvin Trillin’s piece on Mexican food includes this hilarious description of mole as “a thick sauce made from as many as thirty ingredients, in a process so laborious that it puts most complicated Continental dishes into the category of Pop-Tart preparation by comparison.” Among the food pieces, I found myself engrossed by Mimi Sheraton’s piece on sausages and Lauren Collins’s profile of Apollonia Poilane, who took charge of her family’s famous bakery in Paris after her parents died in a helicopter crash when she was 18 years old. And I kept being strangely moved to tears by Jane Kramer’s loooooong, intimate profile of Yotam Ottolenghi (below) and Sami Tamimi, two gay Israelis (ex-lovers now with other partners) who have apparently revolutionized the way food-conscious Londoners eat. At the very end of the article, she describes an enviable evening she spent cooking, eating, and drinking wine with the two of them, their partners, and Ottolenghi’s ex Noam Bar and his partner.
ottolenghiAlso delicious: Peter Schjeldahl’s review of Deidre Bair’s biography of Saul Steinberg, whose love life was remarkable, to say the least. I haven’t read Antonya Nelson’s short story “Literally,” but I’m about to chill out and listen to her read it aloud on the magazine’s iPad app.

In this week’s New Yorker

July 21, 2011

An especially good magazine, starting with another delightful Barry Blitt cover, and a leading editorial in Talk of the Town by George Packer — about the budget battle in Congress — that I would like to copy and circulate to every member of the freshman Republican cabal. (Does that list exist somewhere close at hand?) Actually, every piece in Talk of the Town is pretty great this week, including a rare Gay Talese item about one of those Manhattan locations that are death to restaurants. But the best of the lot is Lauren Collins’ hilarious piece about Chris Bryant, a gay Member of Parliament previously unknown to me who was one of the first to directly challenge the Murdoch empire that is now crashing down:

At Westminster Hall, Chris Bryant indulged in a moment of goofy release when asked if Murdoch, after everything that had happened, would still be able to intimidate British politicians. He held two thumbs together, forefingers up, in a W shape, and then turned them upside down: “Frankly, now it’s like ‘Whatever, Mary.’ ”

Is it because I grew up in a trailer that I read every word of Alec Wilkinson’s piece about tiny houses, “Let’s Get Small”?

Paul Rudnick’s Shouts & Murmurs piece, “The Pope’s Tweets” is predictably LOL. Here are a couple of sample tweets from the Pontiff:
Michele Bachmann is not Satan. Satan doesn’t have split ends.

Someday I’d like to put on slacks, a cardigan, a little straw hat, and sunglasses, and go see “The Book of Mormon.”

Who knew that Calvin Trillin, mostly a food writer, covered the civil rights movements (“the Seg Beat”) for Time magazine once upon a time? His reminiscence of covering the Freedom Riders (“Back on the Bus”) moved me tremendously, as accounts of that historic struggle generally do.

I was mildly interested in Jane Kramer’s profile of contrarian French feminist Elisabeth Badinter, but early on it became clear that she’s one of those social critics who can dish it out but can’ t take it. Badinter refers to a talk she gave at Princeton as her “worst experience….a total execution.” But Kramer reports:

The American feminist scholar Joan Scott, at the Institute for Advanced Studies, heard the talk. She told me, ‘Badinter was saying all sorts of banal things about how the French were sexier than Americans, better at sex, how American women washed too much, how they were embarrassed by bodily odors, by oral sex. We asked hostile questions, like, ‘How can you say these things off the top of your head?’ That it was traumatic for her is very odd. We were simply distressed by her talk.”

I don’t know why, but I also ate up every word of John Cassidy’s piece about hedge fund billionaire Ray Dalio. The guy sounds like a dick, and yet I respect his hard-headedness and self-questioning: “I believe that the biggest problem that humanity faces is an ego sensitivity to finding out whether one is right r wrong and identifying what one’s strengths and weaknesses are.” His motto is “Pain + Reflection = Progress.”

Good piece by Paul Goldberger on Zaha Hadid, an architect whose work interests me. Check out her new Riverside Museum in Glasgow (photo by Iwan Baum):

All told, a densely rewarding issue, anything but light midsummer reading. Although with a perfectly timed Jack Ziegler cartoon:

%d bloggers like this: