The New Yorker December 21, 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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Ben Taub (“Murder in Malta,” p. 38) is a staff writer. He won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for feature writing. Cynthia Zarin (Poem, p. 62), a regular contributor to The New Yorker since 1983, teaches at Yale. Her latest book is “Two Cities.” Calvin Tomkins (“Radical Alienation,” p. 50), a staff writer, published “The Lives of Artists,” a six-volume collection of his profiles, in 2019. Mariana Enriquez (Fiction, p. 60) is the author of two story collections, translated from the Spanish by Megan Mc-Dowell: “Things We Lost in the Fire,” published in 2017, and “The Dangers of Smoking in Bed,” which is out next year. Anand Gopal (Books, p. 74), an assistant research professor at Arizona State University, is writing a book about the Arab revolutions. Alexandra Schwartz (On Television, p. 82) joined the magazine…

the mail

PRINCESS DI ONSCREEN Hilton Als, in his fine review of the new season of “The Crown,” on Netflix, says that Emma Corrin, who plays Princess Diana, seems “disembodied” in the role (On Television, November 23rd). I find his criticism to be overly harsh. Corrin nails the young Diana’s graceful movements and shy gaze. The season ends before Prince Charles and Diana’s divorce; it was not until afterward that Diana lost her shyness and became the confident woman whom people remember and admire. Aphrodite MoissisAthens, Greece I agree with Als that “The Crown” shows how the British Royal Family’s reality is “more like [ours] than not.” This is most evident in the character of Diana, whose struggle with bulimia and depression holds important lessons. As an eighteen-year-old, I am surrounded by toxic social-media culture,…

goings on about town: this week

DECEMBER 16 – 22, 2020 The tree at Rockefeller Center may have its own prime-time special, but for seasonal spectacle it’s hard to compete with the lights of Dyker Heights (pictured). Since the mid-nineteen-eighties, the residents of this Brooklyn neighborhood have been turning their homes into high-wattage displays between Thanksgiving and the New Year. (The event has become so synonymous with Christmas in New York City that it’s the theme of a holiday window at Saks Fifth Avenue this year.) Optimal viewing is between dusk and 9 P.M. MUSIC The Avalanches: “We Will Always Love You” ELECTRONIC Robbie Chater, a member of the Australian electronic group the Avalanches, once characterized the band’s 2000 début, “Since I Left You,” as “a light, FM-pop record” crafted “using dance music techniques”—specifically, some nine hundred samples, crosshatched into…

goings on about town: television

On Pointe Serendipitously for ballet lovers, in this season devoid of live performance, Disney+ filmed a documentary series about the School of American Ballet—the training academy of New York City Ballet—just last year. The six-part series, available on Dec. 18, follows several children from various backgrounds, from eight to eighteen years old, through their classes at the prestigious school, and documents their preparations for George Balanchine’s “Nutcracker.” The kids involved are extraordinary in their focus, desire, and rigor, and the filmmakers reveal how hard they work; their level of discipline often surprises even their own parents. Thankfully, the series also avoids the usual cliché about ballet: that it’s a world filled with mean-spirited, abusive control freaks. To the contrary, the teachers, many of them younger than one might expect, come across…

tables for two: yellow rose

“Texas is a state of mind. Texas is an obsession,” John Steinbeck wrote in “Travels with Charley: In Search of America,” his 1962 book. Then he doubled down: “But I think it is more than that. It is a mystique closely approximating a religion.” Consider me, at least, a worshipper at the altar of Yellow Rose, a Texas-themed pop-up turned restaurant in the East Village. Obsession, indeed, is what led me to commit, the other day, to an entire Pizza Box of Tacos: twelve freshly made Sonoran-style flour tortillas, each folded around one of four fillings and wrapped tightly in foil, containers of a tomatillo-and-poblano salsa verde tucked beside them. I recommend all of the fillings, without reservation: impossibly plump shreds of chicken cooked in salsa verde; a saucy carne guisada…

comment: special elections

Last week, when Senator Kelly Loeffler, Republican of Georgia, and the Reverend Raphael Warnock, her Democratic challenger in a special runoff election, to be held on January 5th, met for a debate, expectations for conflict were high. Loeffler, who was appointed to her seat in January, by Governor Brian Kemp, needs to persuade Republican voters to keep her there. Warnock, a respected pastor who until recently led the New Georgia Project, an initiative, founded by Stacey Abrams, to increase voter turnout, has wide name recognition among African-Americans but needs to turn that support into a constituency broad enough to deliver him a victory. Neither candidate has been elected to office before, and, almost certainly, neither expected to be in one of two runoff elections in the state which will determine…