The Magazine
The Fiction Issue
July 12 & 19, 2021
“Escape,” by Malika Favre.
Letter from Minneapolis
Derek Chauvin’s Trial and George Floyd’s City
Although many Americans see the former police officer’s conviction as just closure, many in Minneapolis view it as the beginning of a larger battle.
By Jelani Cobb
Personal History
I needed to make portraits that were heartbreaking and collages that would blow everyone’s mind. I needed to be great, worthy of the Western canon, of Dad.
By Anthony Veasna So
More Reporting
“Young Girls”
“I would have passionately loved—I won’t even say to know them, but for them to form a high opinion of me.”
By Marcel Proust
Summer in the City
Skilled shade-spotters, proper clothing optional.
By Mokshini
“Unread Messages”
“Alice, she said, am I going to have to live in the real world one day? Without looking up, Alice snorted and said, Jesus, no, absolutely not.”
By Sally Rooney
“Conor and Tony were meticulous, but owing to oversights they’d each had five kids by four women.”
By Rebecca Curtis
More Fiction
Growing Pains
Growing Pains
The Buffalo Robe and the Radio
I had fallen in love with rock and roll and the dark.
By Sterling HolyWhiteMountain
Growing Pains
Driving Lessons
I thought I had lots of fears—thunderstorms, forest fires, bears—but these were not the right kind of fears for driving.
By Margaret Atwood
Growing Pains
A Drive Across the Lone-Star State
My stepdad, a deputy sheriff, had to transport a prisoner to the penitentiary; my mom thought I should ride along.
By David Wright Faladé
Growing Pains
I Do Live Here
I hadn’t yet crossed that threshold Black adolescents cross in America’s codified subconscious—adorable kid to dangerous threat.
By J. M. Holmes
Growing Pains
Haunted House
It was a form of psychological conditioning, a test I gave myself. I watched to see what would happen to me.
By Emma Cline
The Critics
What Do We Hope to Find When We Look for a Snow Leopard?
Nature writers, desperate for a glimpse, trek toward lofty goals—and away from uncomfortable realities.
By Kathryn Schulz
The Strange Case of Ivor Gurney
Composer, poet of the First World War, incurable psychiatric patient: Are we at last ready to understand this elusive figure’s interrupted idylls?
By Anthony Lane
Briefly Noted
“The Vixen,” “Barcelona Dreaming,” “Death of a Traveller,” and “Everything Now.”
What Makes a Cult a Cult?
The line between delusion and what the rest of us believe may be blurrier than we think.
By Zoë Heller
The Art World
The Medici as Artists Saw Them
The guileful Medici family advanced humanism in all the arts in Florence, and most of the city’s painters fell into line, flattering the dynasty with masterly portraiture.
By Peter Schjeldahl
Musical Events
Julius Eastman’s Florid Minimalism
The composer’s thunderous, propulsive “Femenine” is becoming a modern classic.
By Alex Ross
The Theatre
Aleshea Harris’s Ritual for the Living
In “What to Send Up When It Goes Down,” at BAM Fisher, Harris memorializes the deaths of Black people—Trayvon Martin, Sandra Bland, Tamir Rice, and many others—at the hands of the police and other awful actors.
By Vinson Cunningham
On Television
The Invention of Black Boyhood Onscreen in “David Makes Man”
Tarell Alvin McCraney created the OWN series, and, of his explorations of Black adolescence, this one is the strongest, second only to “Moonlight.”
By Doreen St. Félix
More Criticism
The Talk of the Town
Amy Davidson Sorkin on the lessons of the Surfside tragedy; the Springsteen protests; praying with Julia Fox; why Questlove collects; the art history of motherhood.
What We Need to Learn from the Tragedy in Surfside
It is possible that South Florida, where climate change is a particularly acute problem, is nearing a point at which even the best-constructed buildings are under threat.
By Amy Davidson Sorkin
Dept. of Returns
Springsteen Declared Broadway Reopened; Protesters Came
“It ain’t no sin to be glad you’re alive.” Were the anti-vaxxers picketing the St. James Theatre last month Bruce fans?
By Zach Helfand
The Pictures
A Retired Dominatrix Goes to Church
Julia Fox, the “Uncut Gems” star who appears in Steven Soderbergh’s “No Sudden Move” on HBO Max, visits Our Lady of Pompeii to discuss abuse, addiction, sex work, and starring opposite Adam Sandler despite having no acting experience.
By Naomi Fry
Record Keeper
Questlove Remembers the Black Woodstock
In his fight against Black erasure, the Roots drummer, who has amassed two hundred thousand LPs (plus bags full of “Soul Train” VHS tapes), makes his directorial début with “Summer of Soul,” about the mostly forgotten series of concerts in Harlem, in 1969.
By Bruce Handy
Postpartum Dept.
Grotesque, Menacing, Monumental: Motherhood!
At a cocktail-fuelled art-history lecture with Emily Ratajkowski and Huma Abedin in the audience, Sarah Hoover and Christy Turlington Burns discussed the gnarly cultural narratives around giving birth.
By Hannah Goldfield
More Talk of the Town
Puzzles & Games Dept.
The Crossword: Friday, July 2, 2021
A lightly challenging puzzle.
By Robyn Weintraub
“A Song Near the End of the World”
“Such a hot midsummer, such a tired bear.”
By Sharon Olds
“Plum Cake”
“I’d make a plum cake when she died.”
By Diane Mehta
More Poetry
Goings On About Town
Sculpture, Sound, and Dance Convene at Lincoln Center
The choreographer Andrea Miller’s installation “You Are Here” incorporates the voices of singers, ushers, and security guards with dancers, who move through the water and the trees of Hearst Plaza.
Tables for Two
Two Killer Wine Bars in Brooklyn
King Mother, in Ditmas Park, serves dishes, such as spatchcocked, buttermilk-brined, roasted chicken, that are just as premium-yet-accessible as the wine; Winona’s, in Bed-Stuy, offers tutti-frutti pét-nat rosé and grilled head-on prawns.
By Hannah Goldfield
More Goings On About Town
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