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The New Yorker

The New Yorker July 11, 2016

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.

George Saunders (“Trump Days,” p. 50) is the author of nine books, among them “The Braindead Megaphone” and “Lincoln in the Bardo,” his first novel, which comes out in February. Mark Singer (Comment, p. 27) is a longtime writer for The New Yorker. His book “Trump and Me” has just been published. Kia Gregory (The Talk of the Town, p. 31) has written for the Times, the Philadelphia Inquirer, and Philadelphia Weekly. John Seabrook (“The Mixologist,” p. 34) has published four books, including, most recently, “The Song Machine: Inside the Hit Factory.” Natalie Shapero (Poem, p. 36) teaches at Tufts University. “No Object” is her first poetry collection. Kadir Nelson (Cover) is an artist whose work is included in “The Picture Book Re-Imagined,” a group exhibit at the Pratt Manhattan Gallery, in New York. Larissa MacFarquhar…

3 min.
the mail

BASIC INCOME James Surowiecki’s column on proposals to institute a universal basic income— a stipend from the government for all citizens—presents a number of persuasive arguments in favor of the idea (The Financial Page, June 20th). I would add that there would also be significant benefits for women. Many women, particularly those who are poor and working class, perform a vast amount of labor—caring for children, the sick, the disabled, and the elderly— that goes unpaid and unrecognized. This leaves many of them vulnerable to poverty, exploitative relationships, and violence. (Indeed, many women stay with their abusive partners because they cannot survive economically without them.) Not only would a universal basic income increase workers’ bargaining power, as Surowiecki notes; it would also increase women’s bargaining power within their households. Rachel Elfenbein Walla Walla,…

43 min.
goings on about town: this week

THE THEATRE OPENINGS AND PREVIEWS Butler Richard Strand’s play, directed by Joseph Discher, tells the true story of General Benjamin Butler’s moral crisis when three escaped slaves arrived at Fort Monroe in 1861 seeking sanctuary. (59E59, at 59 E. 59th St. 212-279-4200. Previews begin July 14.) Cats The return of Trevor Nunn’s long-running production of the Andrew Lloyd Webber musical, based on T. S. Eliot’s “Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats” and featuring Leona Lewis as Grizabella. (Neil Simon, 250 W. 52nd St. 877-250-2929. Previews begin July 14.) Engagements In Lucy Teitler’s dark comedy, directed by Kimberly Senior for Second Stage Theatre Uptown, a young woman causes trouble at a series of summer engagement parties. (McGinn/Cazale, 2162 Broadway, at 76th St. 212-246-4422. Previews begin July 18.) Hyperbolic! (The Last Spectacle) Monstah Black’s dance-theatre piece, the centerpiece of the twenty-fifth…

2 min.
bold moves

Technology, globalization, the levelling of cultural genres, and the ever-expanding options for entertainment and diversion have placed the empyrean realm of classical composition—and its living, thousand-year tradition—into a maelstrom of conflicting contexts. For Timo Andres, one of several brilliant composers to come out of the Yale School of Music over the last quarter century, context is commonplace. Not only is he part of a composer group, Sleeping Giant, which creates multi-movement, collective works, but he is also the member of that group whose music is most connected to the greater classical heritage. His new piano concerto, “The Blind Banister,” is a deeply complex tribute to Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-Flat Major; you can hear both works performed by Jonathan Biss at Caramoor (July 10), part of a concert…

2 min.
acrobatic homicides

In 2013, Dan Hurlin, a performance artist and puppet artist, was working at the American Academy in Rome when he stumbled on evidence that during the First World War Fortunato Depero (1892-1960), one of the Italian Futurists, had written four puppet plays that were never produced. Where were they? Hurlin travelled to Depero’s home town, Rovereto, at the foot of the Italian Alps, to examine the man’s archive. “I sat at this big table, wearing those white cotton gloves they make you wear,” Hurlin remembers. “The librarian brought out a huge box, full of sheets of paper, each covered with tissue paper. And I turned the sheets, and there they were—the plays. I practically wet my pants.” What the box contained was pages and pages of stage directions, and also…

2 min.
under the bridge

BY THE LATE nineteen-eighties, as the sounds and styles of hip-hop pervaded youth culture, budding stars jostled for position, and a curious internal debate swept the tristate area—where exactly had it begun? Though South Bronx block parties had long been given the credit, one song inadvertantly fed fans the rumor that hip-hop started in Queens. In MC Shan’s 1986 single, “The Bridge,” he raps, “You love to hear the story, again and again / Of how it all got started way back when / The monument is right in your face / Sit and listen for a while to the name of the place.” “The Bridge” was short for Queensbridge, America’s largest operating housing project, located in Long Island City; Shan was simply extolling the place where his Juice Crew…