Posts Tagged: the new yorker

This Week in Short Fiction

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For a weekly dose of fiction, checking in at the New Yorker is probably business as usual for most, and this week it’s definitely worth scoping out Amelia Gray’s story, “Labyrinth.” It’s a story infused with Greek mythology, dark humor, and a little small-town creepiness besides.

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The Torch That Guided Mandela

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…Nelson Mandela said to him, “You know, when I was in prison, it was you who changed the way I saw the world.” Brink believed that Mandela was “not addressing me in the singular, as an individual, but in the plural, as one of the writers who had shed light on [Mandela’s] course.” Literature “had become one of the torches that guided” the future president.

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Serial Commas, Subordinate Clauses, and the New Yorker

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Mary Norris has a gift for your favorite grammarian in this week’s New Yorker: a detailed account of comma policy from a veteran copyeditor. The magazine is notorious for its meticulous house style (where else do you still see a diaeresis over the word coördinate?), which it owes to Mensa-level punctuator Eleanor Gould and her acolytes.

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Where to Shelve Scripture?

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At the New Yorker, Rollo Romig examines the unique position of scripture as literary genre through the lens of history, and with the help of Avi Steinberg’s recent nonfiction title The Lost Book of Mormon. Romig moves through a line of (relatively) recent cases when new scriptures have been introduced, mostly in the US, and attempts to figure them into the larger picture of contemporary belief.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Robert Stone’s fictional universe was vast. The minds of Vietnam vets. Sailors on the open sea. Hidden romances at a prestigious university. But last weekend, one of our better explorers of the darker corners of American life was lost when Stone died at the age of 77 from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

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The Real Crisis

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Along with the other onslaught of reactions to The New Republic’s mass resignation, George Packer offers his own response at the New Yorker, suggesting that the “collapse” (along with the recent Rolling Stone debacle) shows a “crisis” in journalism:

The crisis in journalism is a business crisis, and it’s been going on for twenty years; the outcome remains far from obvious.

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Writing After 40

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If the lists are to be believed, the only good new writers are under 40. It’s not just Buzzfeed, but also the New Yorker, Granta, and others who publish lists of great new—and young—authors. Joanna Walsh takes issue with this trend over at the Guardian:

Sometimes the literary bitcoin is just life: some people have more to say aged 50, than at 30; for others it’s the opposite.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Story|Houston published a beautiful story this week in their Fall 2014 issue, all of which centers around the theme of family, functional or otherwise. “Termites” tells the story of Tamara, aka Tam or Tam-Tam, a youngish woman living in and trying to take care of/sell her family’s childhood home on Staten Island.

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O’Connor Memorialized

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Peacocks, poetry, and one of America’s most enduring authors.

Upon entering the cathedral for the small induction ceremony, attendees were greeted by two gigantic, sparkling sculptures suspended from the ceiling—they are phoenixes, part of an installation by the Chinese artist Xu Bing, but at first glance you might mistake them for peacocks, like the ones that O’Connor raised on her family’s Georgia farm, Andalusia.

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This Week in Short Fiction

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Think of the most complicated and intriguing people you have ever met. Think of the way it feels to return to those people again and again, each time finding some new facet of truth, beauty, insight, originality. Michael Cunningham’s “White Angel” is a story like one of those people.  First published in the New Yorker in 1988, the story later grew into Cunningham’s 1990 novel and the 2004 movie, A Home at the End of the World.

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Nothing Left To Give

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Coming across a fiftieth anniversary edition copy of Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree, Ruth Margalit examines, for the New Yorker, the meaning of this book, especially in the context of the rest of the writer’s work:

… it’s difficult to know whether Silverstein, who died of a heart attack in 1999, after keeping out of the public eye for more than two decades, meant for us to read the book so conclusively.

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