The New Yorker March 8, 2021

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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Joshua Rothman (“Missing a Beat,” p. 30), the ideas editor of, has worked at the magazine since 2012. Rosanna Warren (Poem, p. 34) published the poetry collection “So Forth” and the biography “Max Jacob: A Life in Art and Letters” in 2020. Dexter Filkins (“Last Exit,” p. 40), a staff writer, won a National Book Critics Circle Award for “The Forever War.” Casey Cep (Books, p. 62) is a staff writer and the author of “Furious Hours: Murder, Fraud, and the Last Trial of Harper Lee.” John Cuneo (Cover) has contributed drawings, cartoons, and covers to The New Yorker since 1994. His latest book, “Coping Skills: Helpful Drawings,” a collection of his recent personal work, will be out in April. Anna Shechtman (Puzzles & Games Dept.), a Klarman Fellow at Cornell University, is a…

the mail

THE CHURCH’S LAND GRAB David Owen’s fascinating piece about the cartographer Molly Burhans’s attempts to map the Catholic Church’s lands, with the goal of empowering the Church to fight climate change, does not fully explain how the Church came to own two hundred million acres of land (“Promised Land,” February 8th). The answer involves the Doctrine of Discovery, a collection of edicts issued by the Church throughout the past thousand years that sent explorers around the world to appropriate land that was unoccupied by Christians. Ever since, the logic of terra nullius, or “nobody’s land,” has been used to justify the seizure of land and water and the accompanying attacks on indigenous sovereignty. Visionary though Burhans’s project may be, the work of harnessing the power of the Catholic Church to battle…

goings on about town: this week

MUSIC Cal Performances CLASSICAL This performing-arts presenter traditionally brings top-calibre talent to Bay Area audiences at its home base, the University of California, Berkeley; now, with its pay-per-view streaming series, “Cal Performances at Home,” it offers artists to the world in prerecorded performances from far-flung locations. With the spring season under way, the fierce harpsichord advocate Mahan Esfahani plays Bach’s canonical Goldberg Variations at the Bach Archive, in Leipzig, Germany (March 4). The luminous pianist Mitsuko Uchida performs two Schubert impromptus and his gently unfurling Sonata in G Major, D. 894, at the renowned Wigmore Hall, in London (March 18).—Oussama Zahr CHUNG HA: “Querencia” K-POP Originally a bit player in the eleven-member, reality-show-born K-pop girl group I.O.I., Kim Chung-ha, known mononymously as CHUNG HA, has blossomed into a solo star since the group’s disbanding,…

goings on about town: television

Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar At first, this wacky lime Daiquiri of a comedy, written by and starring Kristen Wiig and Annie Mumolo, feels like a long setup for a “Saturday Night Live” sketch. Barb (Mumolo) and Star (Wiig) are middle-aged best friends from an unnamed Midwestern town who share a house, a hair style, and an unceasing passion for discount culottes; after losing their jobs as salesclerks at Jennifer Convertibles, they decide to go on a big trip to Florida to shake things up. There are solid jokes from the get-go—Vanessa Bayer steals an early scene as the dictatorial leader of a local women’s “talking club”—but as the movie unfolds its quirky heroines feel less and less like stand-ins for a certain type of T. J. Maxx…

tables for two: ha’s dac biet

If there’s an image of pandemic dining that will stay with me years from now, it may be one posted on Instagram by Anthony Ha and Sadie Mae Burns for their pop-up, Ha’s Đâc Biêt. In it, the couple, who met while working at Mission Chinese Food, in 2015, are standing at the hood of a car that’s covered with a magnificent spread of takeout containers. Chopsticks poised near their mouths—Ha’s mask pulled down to his chin, his shirt pocket stuffed with napkins—they wear goofy, deer-in-headlights expressions. The photo is both pragmatic—“This could be you! (If you wear your warmest parka and are committed to eating on the hood of your car),” the caption reads—and heartening: they look, genuinely, in spite of it all, to be having a good time. If…

comment: getting close?

Optimism is one of the things that the coronavirus pandemic has made it hard to hold on to, or even to measure. Going through the data can have a seesawing effect on a person’s state of mind. Last week, Johnson & Johnson announced that, in trials, its COVID-19 vaccine had an efficacy rate of more than sixty-six per cent in preventing moderate to severe disease, and was eightyfive per cent effective at preventing severe to critical cases—and that no one who got the vaccine was hospitalized or died because of covid-19. On Friday, the Food and Drug Administration’s vaccine-advisory committee voted, unanimously, to recommend that it become the third vaccine to be given an emergency-use authorization in the United States. It could be deployed as soon as this week. Should one’s…