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The New Yorker

The New Yorker January 6, 2020

Founded in 1925, The New Yorker publishes the best writers of its time and has received more National Magazine Awards than any other magazine, for its groundbreaking reporting, authoritative analysis, and creative inspiration. The New Yorker takes readers beyond the weekly print magazine with the web, mobile, tablet, social media, and signature events. The New Yorker is at once a classic and at the leading edge.

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in this issue

2 min.

Sheelah Kolhatkar (“Embarrassment of Riches,” p. 32) is the author of “Black Edge: Inside Information, Dirty Money, and the Quest to Bring Down the Most Wanted Man on Wall Street.” V. S. Naipaul (“Grief,” p. 18), who died in 2018, published more than thirty books. In 2001, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature. Donika Kelly (Poem, p. 22) wrote the poetry collections “The Renunciations,” which is forthcoming, and “Bestiary.” She teaches at Baruch College. Jamil Jan Kochai (Fiction, p. 54), who won an O. Henry award, is the author of “99 Nights in Logar.” He is at work on a collection of stories. Lizzie Feidelson (The Talk of the Town, p. 17) is a writer and a dancer. Her work has appeared in the Times Magazine and n+1, among other publications. Pascal Campion…

3 min.
the mail

THE GIN CRAZE Many thanks to Anthony Lane for confirming the historical and cultural pedigree of the gin-and-tonic, which I and many friends in British-ruled Hong Kong regarded as more or less the official colonial drink (“Ginmania,” December 9th). Its popularity is a legacy of the Victorian era, when malaria plagued the territory. (As Lane points out, the quinine in tonic water combatted the disease.) I used to live in the colony’s mordantly named “Happy Valley” area. It was a malarial marsh in the nineteenth century, and now it’s home to a famous horse-racing track and several cemeteries, where some of the malaria victims rest. Perhaps more gin-and-tonic would have been in order; Winston Churchill credited the drink with saving “more Englishmen’s lives, and minds, than all the doctors in the…

28 min.
goings on about town: this week

ART “Making Marvels” Metropolitan Museum This immense exhibition features a trove of impossibly opulent European objects from the mid-sixteenth to the eighteenth century, showcasing the scientific theories and technologies of the time—as well as the wealth of royal collectors. The parade of curiosities begins with “The Imser Clock,” ca. 1554-61, which astounded the imperial court of Ferdinand I with its representation of planetary positions. A projected montage of closeup footage shows the complex, gilded timepiece in action, ticking and chiming as its mechanical figurines rotate. (The show, which might otherwise be weighed down by its abundance of inert filigree, is enlivened by beautifully produced videos like this one.) Presented among the automata, astrolabes, and spring-powered models of the universe are wonders of the natural world. The astonishing Dresden Green, the world’s largest diamond…

3 min.
tables for two: gotham

One recent afternoon at the restaurant formerly known as Gotham Bar & Grill, a host led me and a friend to a sort of dais at the back of the gargantuan restaurant, which was nearly empty. Each of the two other tables on our little stage was also occupied by a pair of women, all of whom were wearing beige and sporting haircuts that you might describe—and my friend did—as Park Avenue helmets. We had quipped, on the way, about being “ladies who lunch,” but suddenly it didn’t seem like a joke. The next thing I knew, I was ordering a dish called Chicken Supreme. Perhaps I shouldn’t have expected different from a restaurant that opened in Greenwich Village more than three decades ago, with the goal of translating uptown-calibre fine…

5 min.
comment: good old days

All times seem to those within them uniquely miserable. Even supposedly halcyon historical moments were horrible if you had to live through them: the eighteen-nineties in London, which now seem a time of wit and Café Royal luxury, were mostly seen then as decadent, if you were no fan of Oscar Wilde’s, or as dark and disgraceful, if you were. The allegedly placid American nineteen-fifties were regarded, at the time, as a decade of frightening conformity and approaching apocalypse. But this does not mean that some moments can’t be uniquely miserable. Ours surely is, with the recent collapse of progressive Britain following on the constitutional crisis of liberal America, with so many people around the world caught between political polarities, and with the planet warming daily. No one has ever improved…

4 min.
tabloid fodder: postian diaspora

When news breaks inside the world of the New York Post, past or present, it spreads quickly to Post Nation, an e-mail group of more than twelve hundred of the paper’s former and current employees. Myron Rushetzky, once a head city-desk assistant at the Post, is in charge. He maintains strict criteria for topics worthy of one of his blasts: births, promotions, book events, honors, and retirements. Also deaths. Many of Rushetzky’s old colleagues have told their families to notify him as soon as they keel over. In recent years, some of his e-mails have begun ominously, as in “Post Nation, we have lost another one.” When he announced that Carl Pelleck, a cigar-chomping police reporter, had died, many people commented on how Pelleck had helped them when they were rookies.…