News & Politics
The New Yorker

The New Yorker May 18, 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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47 Issues

in this issue

2 min.

Ben Taub (“Five Oceans, Five Deeps,” p. 30), a staff writer, is the recipient of the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. His 2018 reporting on Iraq won a National Magazine Award and a George Polk Award. Anita Kunz (Cover) has contributed covers to The New Yorker since 1995. Her book “Redux: An Alternative History of Art” is due out next spring. James Somers (“Breathing Room,” p. 16) is a writer and a programmer based in New York. Alexandra Schwartz (The Theatre, p. 70), a theatre critic for the magazine, has been a staff writer since 2016. Jonathan Lethem (Fiction, p. 54) teaches creative writing at Pomona College. He will publish a new novel, “The Arrest,” in November. David Biespiel (Poem, p. 29) is the author of, most recently, the poetry collection “Republic Café” and…

3 min.
the mail

COFFEEHOUSE CULTURES Adam Gopnik fluidly leads us through the historical and economic underpinnings of coffee drinking to elucidate the global web of the bean (Books, April 27th). He observes that the growth of coffee culture in the United States can be measured by the large numbers of epicurean cafés, coffee connoisseurs, and imported espresso beans that have entered society since 1989. This notion of an American coffee culture implies that the people partaking in it have become “cultured.” Yet there are more quotidian coffee cultures in American history worth mentioning. I think back to the domestic routines developed in mid-century America: of the percolator perched on our kitchen counter, of Mrs. Olson saving marriages with Mountain Grown Folger’s, of the ubiquitous packets of Sanka, of the rotgut coffee at truck stops,…

19 min.
goings on about town: this week

In an effort to slow the spread of the coronavirus, New York City museums, galleries, theatres, music venues, and cinemas have closed. Here’s a selection of culture to be found online and streaming. MAY 13 – 19, 2020 Charli XCX has been making futuristic electro-pop since her 2013 début, “True Romance,” but with her new album, “How I’m Feeling Now,” produced in quarantine at her home in L.A. (where she is pictured), the English singer-songwriter creates music for the present. The singles “Forever” and “Claws” crackle, smolder, and otherwise short-circuit, as though Charli’s electronic devices cannot withstand the intensity of her desire for human connection. “I’ll love you forever,” she sings, “even when we’re not together.” ART Kerstin Brätsch How should a painting be? Given that this daring German artist, who calls New York home,…

3 min.
tables for two: a pivot to groceries

Among my most treasured possessions right now is an imposingly large plastic jug containing five litres of olive oil from Spain. I got it at Hart’s, a restaurant in Bed-Stuy. On a recent Sunday, in a misty rain, I stood in an exceptionally calm line of people (all masked, some gloved, all spaced at least six feet apart) waiting to approach a table just inside the doorway. Behind it, Hart’s three proprietors, Nialls Fallon, Leah Campbell, and Nick Perkins—who also own and operate the Fly, a few blocks away, and Cervo’s, on the Lower East Side—were filling bags and boxes with olive oil; produce, eggs, and meat (including freshly killed, dry-brined chickens, ready to be roasted) from local farms; tinned seafood; and bottles of wine and liquor. Since early March, the…

5 min.
comment: blaming beijing

When an Ebola epidemic erupted in West Africa, in 2014, the United States and China, the world’s two largest economic powers, responded in starkly different fashions. The Obama Administration dispatched the 101st Airborne and other troops to build treatment hospitals, and donated more than half of the $3.9 billion in relief funds collected from governments worldwide. Within six months, the outbreak was under control, and the U.S.-led effort was hailed as a template for handling future epidemics. Chinese mining and construction firms had big businesses in Liberia, Guinea, and Sierra Leone, but Beijing struggled to mount a humanitarian response. Between August and October of that year, nearly ten thousand Chinese nationals fled those countries in a panic. China, unaccustomed to such missions, sent medical teams and supplies, but, over all, it…

4 min.
dept. of scrutiny: glass houses

There was a TV commercial for Renuzit air freshener that ran half a century ago and scarred everyone who saw it. In the ad, a housewife has invited friends over to play bridge. But, as the ladies enter her home, they sniff, wrinkle their noses, and make mortifying comments along the lines of “Fried fish last night?” and “I thought George gave up cigars.” The message was clear: anytime you allow people to enter your home, it—and you—will be ripped to shreds. Such pitiless scrutiny is precisely what the coronavirus lockdown has forced on America’s media personalities: if they want to remain on our screens, they must invite us, and our judgments, into their living rooms, bedrooms, and, in some cases, bathrooms. News shows are a special problem area, with viewers…