Posts Tagged ‘jon lee anderson’

In this week’s New Yorker

February 28, 2015

The staff outdid themselves for the 90th anniversary issue with substantial profiles of a string of extraordinary people:

  • “Holy Writ,” in which longtime New Yorker copy editor Mary Norris reveals the inner workings of the New Yorker’s famous copy desk;
  • “The Cabaret Beat,” Ian Frazier on an early New Yorker star I’d never heard of named Ellin Mackay, who pretty much retired from writing her Jazz Age dispatches when she married Irving Berlin;
  • “The Shape of Things to Come,” very long and fascinating piece by Ian Parker about Apple’s chief designer Jonathan Ive;
  • “The Unravelling,” Jon Lee Anderson’s report on Libyan general Khalifa Haftar that leaves you with the impression that that country is, for the foreseeable future, as hopelessly fucked as Syria is;
  • “Brother from Another Mother,” a terrific reporting piece about the comedy team Key and Peele by novelist Zadie Smith; and
  • “Look Again,” literary critic James Wood’s piece about a writer named Edith Pearlman, who is unknown to me but apparently has been writing amazing short stories for decades.

And following a curious and yet sensible new publishing fashion, the New Yorker commissioned nine different covers and, rather than anointing one, published them all. My subscriber copy came with three, and the rest are easily visible online or on the iPad app. Here are my two favorites, by Carter Goodrich and Anita Kunz:

new york anno tweet cover new yorker anno reefer cover


In this week’s New Yorker

August 22, 2012

Some amazing stuff, starting with the cover, a characteristically dense, witty Bruce McCall special called “A Greener, Greater New York” (see above). Four pieces stand out for me in particular:

* Leo Carey’s biographical essay on Stefan Zweig, the once-famous Austrian writer and biographer whose name I’ve heard but never knew much about (he and his second wife committed suicide together in Brazil in 1942, in despair over the future of Europe);

* Alice Munro’s “Amundsen,” long, slow, and satisfying as her stories usually are;

* Jon Lee Anderson’s harrowing “Letter from Syria” (I hope he didn’t have to witness first-hand all the brutality he reports in the story); and most of all,

* “Altered States,” Oliver Sacks’s astonishingly candid Personal History essay (an excerpt from his forthcoming book Hallucinations) about his personal use of LSD, peyote, morphine, amphetamines, and other recreational drugs, which ranged from loosely controlled scientific research to the kind of self-isolating absorption that worried his closest friends.


In this week’s New Yorker

November 6, 2011

Last week’s Cartoon Issue was pretty disappointing. This week’s issue had, for one thing, much better cartoons.

But in addition there were three absorbing features: James Wood on what personal libraries have to say about us; D. T. Max on a young pianist new to me named Helen Grimaud; and the great war reporter Jon Lee Anderson on the last days of Qaddafi. I also enjoyed Alec Wilkinson’s Talk of the Town piece about Gillian Welch and Dave Rawlings on the road and Hendrik Hertzberg’s editorial mulling over the contrasting political strategies of the Tea Party and Occupy Wall Street.

In last week’s New Yorker…

May 10, 2011

Yes, I’m a week, maybe two behind. But I didn’t want to let the moment pass without citing a couple of articles that made an impression on me.

Jon Lee Anderson is one of the New Yorker’s extraordinary war reporters, and his dispatch from Libya conveys with revelatory specificity the particularly scrappy, hand-to-hand nature of the effort to end the dictatorial rule of Qadaffi. It’s a corner of the world I would never know anything about except for such fine first-hand reporting.

Hilton Als also does a beautiful job profiling Jane Fonda, someone it’s easy to feel like you know everything about. Yet Hilton got extraordinary access to her daily life, and he earned it through scrupulous, thoughtful, and sympathetic attention to her unusually sprawling life’s work. The complete article can only be read online by subscribers, but you can access the link here.

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