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The New Yorker

The New Yorker January 13, 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.

Evan Osnos (“Fight Fight, Talk Talk,” p. 32) writes about politics and foreign affairs for the magazine. His book on China, “Age of Ambition,” won the National Book Award for nonfiction in 2014. Ariel Levy (“World Without Pain,” p. 18), a staff writer since 2008, is the author of, most recently, the memoir “The Rules Do Not Apply.” Douglas Stuart (Fiction, p. 56) will publish his first novel, “Shuggie Bain,” in February. Rachel Syme (The Talk of the Town, p. 14), a contributor to The New Yorker since 2012, writes about style and consumer culture for newyorker.com. Shauna Barbosa (Poem, p. 36) is the author of the poetry collection “Cape Verdean Blues.” Bruce McCall (Cover) is an artist and a satirical writer. He has contributed covers and humor pieces to the magazine since 1980. John McPhee…

3 min.
the mail

A DEMOCRACY IN CRISIS Dexter Filkins’s searing, unflinching piece about India under Narendra Modi should be read by all Indians (“Blood and Soil in India,” December 9th). The country that Filkins describes bears little resemblance to the one I grew up in. As I was reading, I noticed that the horrific incidents of lynching, mob violence, and state complicity in federal machinations detailed in the article occurred primarily in the north of the country. These stories seem to suggest that Modi’s vision of a Hindu-nationalist state has less traction in South India. Recent election results show something similar: during the 2019 national election, the B.J.P., Modi’s political party, won a majority of seats in only one of the five South Indian states. South India is just as diverse as the north,…

26 min.
goings on about town: this week

The alto saxophonist Lakecia Benjamin plays jazz that is sprinkled with the rich flavors of funk and soul—she’s a crafty traditionalist who remains in step with the rhythms of the young generation. (One cut on her most recent album, “Rise Up,” reimagined Rihanna’s “Stay” through the sultry tones of her horn.) As part of this year’s Winter Jazzfest marathons, running Jan. 10-11 at venues around Manhattan, Benjamin presents music from her upcoming project, “Pursuance,” an homage to the brilliant, timeless work of Alice and John Coltrane. ART “Artist’s Choice: Amy Sillman” Museum of Modern Art Prunella Clough (1919-99), a superbly weird British modernist who deserves to be better known, was fond of a quote by Édouard Manet: “Painting is like throwing oneself into the sea to learn to swim.” Looking at art can be…

3 min.
tables for two: claudia’s and ix

In Guatemala, there’s a common saying, “A falta de pan, tortilla,” which translates literally to “In the absence of bread, tortilla,” and means, figuratively, “If you can’t get the best thing, take the next best thing.” It’s a snobbish and outdated aphorism, referring to a vestigial hierarchy of carbohydrates, to a time in which tortillas were eaten primarily by the country’s indigenous population and associated with poverty. Today, everyone in Guatemala eats tortillas, and, in any definition of the nation’s cuisine, they figure quite prominently—certainly more so than bread. You’ll find tortillas at Claudia’s, in East Williamsburg, which was, until recently, a more casual café called C.Lo; its owners, the siblings Claudia and Mario Lopez, rebranded it as a full-service Guatemalan restaurant, with an expanded menu and new folk-art-inspired wall murals…

5 min.
comment: don’t wait

Last week, thousands of people in the Australian state of Victoria were urged to evacuate their homes. “Don’t wait,” the alert warned. Bushfires were burning across the state; so large were some of the blazes that, according to Victoria’s commissioner of emergency management, they were “punching into the atmosphere” with columns of smoke nine miles high. The smoke columns were producing their own weather, generating lightning that, in turn, was setting more fires. Some time after residents received the evacuation warning, many of those in the most seriously affected region, East Gippsland, which is a popular tourist destination, received another alert. It was now too late to leave: “You are in danger and need to act immediately to survive.” Just to the north of Victoria, in New South Wales, blazes have…

3 min.
the boards: back to school

When six Columbia University graduate students arrived at their creative-writing seminar one recent Tuesday, they encountered an unlikely classmate. The actress Mary-Louise Parker, who is starring in Adam Rapp’s Broadway play “The Sound Inside,” had been invited to sit in by their professor, the writer Leslie Jamison. The women met four years ago, when Jamison interviewed Parker at Symphony Space about her memoir, “Dear Mr. You,” a series of epistolary vignettes dedicated to the men in her life. The two became friends, and Parker was one of the first people to receive a galley of Jamison’s 2018 book, “The Recovering,” a literary history of sobriety. She read it twice. “I was obsessed with it. I am obsessed with it,” Parker said. Parker would like to write another book, but she’s been…