The Magazine
August 16, 2021
“Hi, It’s Mom,” by Roz Chast.
Annals of Astronomy
NASA’s New Telescope Will Show Us the Infancy of the Universe
Twenty-five years and ten billion dollars in the making, the James Webb Space Telescope will enable scientists to see deeper into the past than ever before.
By Rivka Galchen
Life and Letters
Who Jason Reynolds Writes His Best-sellers For
Through books that center on Black children, the author wants young readers to discover their own stories.
By Rumaan Alam
The Control of Nature
The Lost Canyon Under Lake Powell
Drought is shrinking one of the country’s largest reservoirs, revealing a hidden Eden.
By Elizabeth Kolbert
Personal History
Finding a Way Back from Suicide
A journey of recovery through electroconvulsive therapy.
By Donald Antrim
More Reporting
The Critics
On Television
“Ted Lasso” Can’t Save Us
In Season 2, our eponymous coach is withering, bucking against the themes of therapy and self-help—a welcome contrast to his belief in unabating optimism.
By Doreen St. Félix
Briefly Noted
“The Kissing Bug,” “On Compromise,” “The Bachelor,” and “Disquiet.”
Are Liberals to Blame for Our Crisis of Faith in Government?
Progressives as well as conservatives have promoted suspicion of the establishment, but lack of trust is not the same as apathy.
By Louis Menand
In Coming-of-Middle-Age Stories, Adults Grow Up, Too
Deborah Levy and Dana Spiotta write about women getting older—and starting anew.
By Alexandra Schwartz
Musical Events
John Corigliano’s New Opera Reimagines Dionysus as Dracula
In “The Lord of Cries,” the composer has boldly returned to a form that he set aside in the early nineties.
By Alex Ross
The Current Cinema
“Annette” and the Drama of the Gifted Child
Starring Adam Driver and Marion Cotillard, Leos Carax’s musical about a young star is a folie de grandeur without the grandeur.
By Anthony Lane
More Criticism
The Talk of the Town
Anthony Lane on watching the Tokyo Olympics; Cuomo in crisis; an urn that is also a planter; Bobby Valentine for mayor; Simon Helberg’s old haunts.
The Surprising Relief of the Tokyo Olympics
Rightly or wrongly, the Games did proceed, and, to general astonishment, began to work their weird, if slightly shopworn, magic.
By Anthony Lane
Downfall Dept.
Cuomo on the Brink of Impeachment
In the new report on sexual-harassment allegations against him, the Governor comes off as a combination of Howard Stern, Colonel Kurtz, and Macaulay Culkin in “Home Alone.”
By Nick Paumgarten
Home-Town Kid
Is Managing a City Like Managing the Mets?
Bobby Valentine—whose most significant policy decisions as the Mets skipper included whether to bench Benny Agbayani—launches his campaign for mayor of Stamford, Connecticut.
By Dan Greene
L.A. Postcard
A Cremation Urn to Match the Credenza
Why put your loved one’s ashes in a fusty, old-fashioned piece of crockery? An L.A. entrepreneur will make one out of wood for you with sleek mid-century lines.
By Antonia Hitchens
The Pictures
Simon Helberg Remembers His Scales
The actor, who played Howard Wolowitz on “The Big Bang Theory,” used his childhood as an aspiring pianist to land a role in Leos Carax’s musical film “Annette,” with Adam Driver.
By Naomi Fry
More Talk of the Town
Shouts & Murmurs
Shouts & Murmurs
The Metropolitan Museum Wants You to Renew
Dear Member: Don’t you want to keep helping us bring life to art, and art to lives? What if we give you special Leap-Day Views and a suit of armor?
By Seth Reiss
More Shouts & Murmurs
“Selection Week”
“I was sure I would be sent home today—but my name was there. So was his. I whispered it to myself, and it sounded like chimes on a windy day.”
By hurmat kazmi
More Fiction
Puzzles & Games Dept.
The Crossword: Monday, August 9, 2021
A challenging puzzle.
By Elizabeth C. Gorski
“Gertrude Stein”
“I could see my life from—not a long shot— / but what they used to call an increment apart.”
By Diane Seuss
“Amelia’s Model”
“Amelia, you didn’t include Pluto / In your wire sculpture of the solar system.”
By Michael Longley
More Poetry
Goings On About Town
Above & Beyond
Summer at Fort Tilden
The oceanfront park in the Rockaways, a former U.S. military site, in Queens, overlooking New York Harbor, provides a romantic view worthy of Caspar David Friedrich.
Fall Television Preview
Steve Martin and Martin Short team up with Selena Gomez for a murder mystery, Beanie Feldstein plays Monica Lewinsky, Lee Daniels reboots “The Wonder Years,” and more.
By Rachel Syme
Fall Art Preview
Kandinsky circles the Guggenheim, the Whitney reflects on Jasper Johns, Surrealism goes global at the Met, and more.
By Andrea K. Scott
Fall Dance Preview
New York City Ballet and American Ballet Theatre return to Lincoln Center, the Joyce hosts Ragamala Dance and Caleb Teicher, and more.
By Marina Harss
Night Life
Fall Contemporary-Music Preview
James Blake at Radio City Music Hall, Wizkid out in the open, Webster Hall’s diversified slate, and more.
By Sheldon Pearce
Classical Music
Fall Classical-Music Preview
The Metropolitan Opera makes history, BAM’s beachside “Sun & Sea,” Carnegie Hall’s re-start, and more.
By Oussama Zahr
The Theatre
Fall Theatre Preview
Last spring’s doomed Broadway season is revived, along with plays by Lynn Nottage, Alice Childress, Lucas Hnath, Annie Baker, and more.
By Michael Schulman
Fall Movies Preview
Clint Eastwood plays a former rodeo star, Rebecca Hall adapts a Harlem Renaissance classic, Julia Ducournau makes autos erotic, and more.
By Richard Brody
Tables for Two
Seafood Towers at Margie’s in the Rockaways
The flagship restaurant of the new Rockaway Hotel offers unfussy dishes such as mac and cheese, burrata, and mussels, as well as lobster toast and early-season heirloom tomatoes as fresh as the oysters and cherrystone clams.
By Jiayang Fan
More Goings On About Town
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