The Magazine
August 9, 2021
“Summer Treat,” by Mark Ulriksen
Brave New World Dept.
The Seas Are Rising. Could Oysters Help?
How a landscape architect is enlisting nature to defend our coastal cities against climate change—and doing it on the cheap.
By Eric Klinenberg
Personal History
“Who are you?” I want to ask the gentle gnome in front of me. “And what have you done with Lou Sedaris?”
By David Sedaris
A Reporter at Large
The Big Money Behind the Big Lie
Donald Trump’s attacks on democracy are being promoted by rich and powerful conservative groups that are determined to win at all costs.
By Jane Mayer
The Epic Style of Kerry James Marshall
The artist, a virtuoso of landscape, portraiture, still-life, history painting, and other genres of the Western canon since the Renaissance, can do anything.
By Calvin Tomkins
More Reporting
The Critics
The Current Cinema
“The Green Knight” Wields Intermittent Magic
An uneasy blend of the bygone and the new, David Lowery’s adaptation of an Arthurian tale succeeds most when he is consumed by cinema’s capacity to measure and manipulate time.
By Anthony Lane
Briefly Noted
“This Is Your Mind on Plants,” “Islands of Abandonment,” “Virtue,” and “The Beginners.”
Sunjeev Sahota’s Novels of Arrival and Departure
In “China Room,” the journeys of immigrants divide stories and selves.
By James Wood
Kaveh Akbar Finds Meaning in Misunderstanding
In “Pilgrim Bell,” the poet turns illegibility into a site of creativity, taking apart familiar language and reassembling unexpected truths.
By Andrew Chan
Pop Music
The Brash, Exuberant Sounds of Hyperpop
The genre’s artists have resisted classification by honing a new kind of buoyant, absurdist pop.
By Carrie Battan
More Criticism
The Talk of the Town
Sue Halpern on the House’s January 6th hearing; David Adjaye’s citadel; of Mitfords and flowers; a menu made of memories; taking the show on the road.
Why Republican Leaders Ignored the January 6th Hearing
The House select committee’s task is to establish who knew what about the insurrection—but most Republicans don’t seem to want to find out.
By Sue Halpern
Fictional Anthropology
David Adjaye Tries Rammed Earth
When the British architect and his family got locked down in his parents’ homeland of Ghana, last year, he was inspired by their low-slung local village to create a structure that serves no practical purpose—an art work—now on display at the Gagosian gallery.
By Alexandra Schwartz
Emily Mortimer and the Vulgar Dahlias
The British actress turned director channels her father’s memories of the Mitford sisters—two affiliated with the Communist Party, one a friend of Hitler, one a duchess—to the small screen, in a BBC adaptation of “The Pursuit of Love.”
By Michael Schulman
Transplant Dept.
An Undocumented Chef’s Menu of Memories
Iván Garcia, the restaurateur and the subject of the film “I Carry You With Me,” can’t go back to Mexico, where his son, granddaughter, and mother live. So he creates dishes based on the cooking of the grandmothers and nuns back home.
By Fergus McIntosh
Road Show
Performing Off Broadway, While Driving Off Broadway
A former cab driver turned playwright created a site-specific performance called “Taxilandia,” which takes place in a cab around Bushwick and swaps out intermission for a stop at a bodega.
By Darryn King
More Talk of the Town
Shouts & Murmurs
Shouts & Murmurs
Feeling Left Behind by My Young, Successful, Alien-Parasite-Infected Friends
Every time I see one of them showing off a new baby bump or spewing black bile from her eyeballs as the alien parasite sucks nutrients from its human host, I ask myself, When’s it going to be my turn?
By Zoe Pearl
More Shouts & Murmurs
“The fish meant nothing. But on eBay he called it ‘Lucky trout!’ Starting bid: fifteen dollars.”
By Sarah Braunstein
More Fiction
Puzzles & Games Dept.
The Crossword: Friday, July 30, 2021
A lightly challenging puzzle.
By Caitlin Reid
“I felt some desire and I lost my cents.”
By Sarah Arvio
“Notes Toward an Elegy”
“She says there’s so much other movement I do not perceive.”
By Elisa Gonzalez
More Poetry
Goings On About Town
Robert Longo’s Cinematic Works
The artist’s charcoal-on-paper works, epic in both subject matter and scale, are on view in an exhibition, opening on Aug. 7, at Guild Hall, in East Hampton.
Tables for Two
Contento’s Joyful Commitment to Inclusivity
The sommelier and co-founder Yannick Benjamin, who uses a wheelchair, designed this new East Harlem restaurant, with a Peruvian-inspired menu, to accommodate both diners and staff members with disabilities.
By Hannah Goldfield
More Goings On About Town
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