The Magazine
August 23, 2021
“Summer’s Lease,” by Gayle Kabaker.
American Chronicles
A Fight to Expose the Hidden Human Costs of Incarceration
The law professor Andrea Armstrong is documenting the loss of life inside jails and prisons in Louisiana, the state with the highest in-custody mortality rate.
By Eyal Press
Annals of Inquiry
Why Is It So Hard to Be Rational?
The real challenge isn’t being right but knowing how wrong you might be.
By Joshua Rothman
A Reporter at Large
Britain’s Idyllic Country Houses Reveal a Darker History
Great estates are among the country’s treasures. But their connections to slavery and colonialism are forcing visitors to reckon with myths they may not want to abandon.
By Sam Knight
Letter from Iceland
Chasing the Lava Flow in Iceland
At a volcanic eruption, the sublime experience of watching land submerge land.
By Heidi Julavits
More Reporting
The Critics
The Two Sides of Ha Jin
His early stories of China deployed unsparing brutality, but his latest novel shows his affinity for stoicism, irony, and modesty.
By Joan Acocella
Why Don’t the French Celebrate Lafayette?
He fought for freedom both here and in France, but his own countrymen are blasé about his legacy.
By Adam Gopnik
Briefly Noted
“From the Streets of Shaolin,” “Distant Fathers,” “Brotherhood,” and “The Woman from Uruguay.”
Pop Music
The Spaced-Out Jazz of Sam Gendel and Sam Wilkes
The group blurs the line between jazz duo and electronic-production team, providing listeners with not many notes but plenty of vibes.
By Kelefa Sanneh
The Theatre
“Merry Wives” and “Endure: Run Woman Show” Transform Central Park
A Shakespeare adaptation and a marathon-inspired performance turn the city’s back yard into a stage.
By Alexandra Schwartz
The Current Cinema
Trapped in a Video Game with “Free Guy”
Shawn Levy’s hectic sci-fi comedy “Free Guy,” starring Ryan Reynolds and Jodie Comer, is exhausting but charming.
By Anthony Lane
More Criticism
The Talk of the Town
Elizabeth Kolbert on perilous climate news; Gavin Newsom’s challengers; grief, postponed; patriarchal soundtrack; radio without rules.
The U.N.’s Terrifying Climate Report
Scientists predict hotter heat waves and worse flooding in the decades ahead, but the catastrophe is evident everywhere this summer.
By Elizabeth Kolbert
On the Hustings
Angelyne Stumps for California’s Professional-Celebrity Vote
The Los Angeles billboard icon, running against Gavin Newsom, Caitlyn Jenner, and forty-four others in the state’s gubernatorial recall election, has a platform that includes mandatory bubble-bath day and the cancellation of daylight-saving time and jury duty.
By Antonia Hitchens
Delayed Goodbye
Colman Domingo Honors a Fabulous Friend
The character actor and star of the upcoming horror flick “Candyman” visits the apartment of the d.j. Ari Gold, who died in February, to say a postponed farewell and pick out a sufficiently glamorous personal item to remember his “soul friend.”
By Michael Schulman
Dept. of Undertones
The Guggenheim’s Marathon of Misogynist Music
What can twenty-eight hours of songs by the likes of Eminem, Cat Stevens, and the Crystals, performed on repeat, reveal about sexism? Ragnar Kjartansson, a self-described “patriarch in recovery,” led twenty-four female and nonbinary musicians to find out.
By Adam Iscoe
Labor of Love Dept.
On Air with the Greatest Radio Station in the World
WPKN-FM—on which you can hear a Stevie Wonder song performed by an all-women jazz septet or twenty minutes of Tuvan throat singing—moves to a new location in downtown Bridgeport, Connecticut.
By David Owen
More Talk of the Town
Shouts & Murmurs
Shouts & Murmurs
A History of Alternative Milk
2030: Out-of-work Borden mascot Elsie the Cow introduces subscription service OnlyFlans.
By Henry Alford
More Shouts & Murmurs
“The Iceman”
“When did it become obvious that the young couple had taken something?”
By Emma Cline
More Fiction
Puzzles & Games Dept.
The Crossword: Wednesday, August 11, 2021
A moderately challenging puzzle.
By Wyna Liu
“From Another Approach”
“The year is still the perpetual now / refusing to escape its frame.”
By Mary Jo Bang
“A human is not such a perfect machine.”
By Nick Laird
More Poetry
Goings On About Town
Above & Beyond
Yoga at the Brooklyn Museum
Bring your mat for a class on the plaza stairs, beneath Daniel Chester French’s sculpture “Allegorical Figure of Manhattan.”
Tables for Two
Eating Responsibly at Lighthouse
Assaf and Naama Tamir, the proprietors of the Williamsburg restaurant, take scrupulous care to insure that their ingredients are ethically processed, offering Mediterranean meze and jerk-marinated chicken shawarma.
By David Kortava
More Goings On About Town
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