News & Politics
The New Yorker

The New Yorker December 30, 2019

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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47 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

Adam Gopnik (“Sad Buildings in Brooklyn,” p. 32) is a staff writer. His most recent book is “A Thousand Small Sanities.” Liana Finck (“Hammurabi’s Code of Manners,” p. 59) is a New Yorker cartoonist. Her latest book is “Excuse Me: Cartoons, Complaints, and Notes to Self.” Jonathan Lethem (Fiction, p. 60) teaches creative writing at Pomona College. His latest novel is “The Feral Detective.” Emma Hunsinger (“How to Draw a Horse,” p. 40) has contributed cartoons to the magazine since 2017. She lives in rural Vermont. Richard Brody (Annals of Animation, p. 69), a film critic for the magazine, wrote “Everything Is Cinema: The Working Life of Jean-Luc Godard.” Veronica Geng (Shouts & Murmurs, p. 17) contributed to the magazine for nearly three decades. She died in 1997. George Saunders (Fiction, p. 56) was first published…

3 min.
comment: a funny thing happened

When The New Yorker was founded, in 1925, by the square-jawed newspaperman Harold Ross and his wife, the feminist and journalist Jane Grant, it was envisioned as a comic weekly. Since its inaugural installment, it has been packed with amusing drawings. (Issue No. 1 featured a commuter dutifully heeding a sign that read “PLEASE! HELP US KEEP THE ‘L’ AND SUBWAY CLEAN,” by polishing a window with his handkerchief.) Soon, Ross was noting that “everybody talks of The New Yorker’s art—that is, its illustrations—and it has been described as the best magazine in the world for someone who cannot read.” And yet here you are, reader, at the very end of this paragraph, proving him wrong! It is true, though, that the most popular cocktail-party confession that I, the cartoon editor,…

4 min.
fragments: found in translation

Miglė Anušauskaitė, a heavily tattooed, thirty-one-year-old Lithuanian cartoonist, is not Jewish. But in 2015, after winning an award for a comic book she created, she used her prize money to start studying languages, including Hebrew. Her Hebrew teacher worked at the Lithuanian national library’s Judaica Research Center, and asked her if she wanted a job. “I still don’t know why,” Anušauskaitė said. “But I was interested.” At her new job, she encountered Yiddish. She decided to learn that, too. Anušauskaitė lives in Vilnius, which has been nicknamed the “Jerusalem of the North.” It was the original home of the Yiddish Scientific Institute (YIVO), an organization dedicated to the preservation of Jewish culture. In 1939, YIVO announced a contest for the “best Jewish youth autobiography,” open to young men and women between…

4 min.
lost and found dept.: flew the coop

The squawking started in the summer. By late fall, it would become the soundtrack to a tale of urban dogooding gone awry. One morning in July, Kate Boicourt was frying plantains in her apartment in Ditmas Park when a peculiar sound caught her ear. She looked out her fifth-story window and saw a snowy-white bird perched on her fire escape—ten inches tall, with a pink blush around its beak and an impish Mohawk. The bird peered at Boicourt with a hungry stare. “It was like he was saying, ‘I’m here in time for breakfast,’” Boicourt recalled the other day. Boicourt, who is thirty-five and works for the nonprofit Waterfront Alliance, is used to seeing pigeons and seagulls in her leafy neighborhood, but this specimen was new. The bird began appearing every…

4 min.
chicago postcard: everything wabi-sabi

A young couple was browsing at Judy Maxwell Home, a gift shop on Chicago’s North Side, when they noticed a middle-aged, red-haired woman perched on a stool, palpating the sternum of a life-size red Power Ranger. The couple didn’t recognize her, but it was the store’s owner, the actress Joan Cusack. She had on a beige apron over a blue-flowered dress. On the back of the apron, she’d sewn a tiny vintage Barbie outfit. “He’s kind of gone through some hard times,” Cusack said, addressing the shopping couple, as she pressed down on the Power Ranger’s chest. A strangled pleasantry emitted from a speaker inside him. “Very encouraging,” she said, stepping off the stool. The couple left without buying anything, but Cusack considered the transaction a success. She seems concerned with more…

8 min.
shouts & murmurs: coyote v. acme

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT, SOUTHWESTERN DISTRICT, TEMPE, ARIZONA CASE No. B19294, JUDGE JOAN KUJAVA, PRESIDING WILE E. COYOTE, Plaintiff -v.- ACME COMPANY, Defendant Opening Statement of Mr. Harold Schoff, attorney for Mr. Coyote: My client, Mr. Wile E. Coyote, a resident of Arizona and contiguous states, does hereby bring suit for damages against the Acme Company, manufacturer and retail distributor of assorted merchandise, incorporated in Delaware and doing business in every state, district, and territory. Mr. Coyote seeks compensation for personal injuries, loss of business income, and mental suffering caused as a direct result of the actions and/or gross negligence of said company, under Title 15 of the United States Code, Chapter 47, section 2072, subsection (a), relating to product liability. Mr. Coyote states that on eighty-five separate occasions he has purchased of the Acme Company (hereinafter,…