The New Yorker March 22, 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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Andrew Solomon (“The Shape of Love,” p. 32) is a professor of medical psychology at Columbia University. His books include “Far and Away,” “Far from the Tree,” and “The Noonday Demon.” Jane Mayer (“Trump in the Crosshairs,” p. 18), the magazine’s chief Washington correspondent, is the author of “Dark Money.” Billy Collins (Poem, p. 40), a former U.S. Poet Laureate, has written more than a dozen books of poetry. His latest collection is “Whale Day.” Imbolo Mbue (Fiction, p. 54) won the 2017 PEN/Faulkner Award for Fiction for “Behold the Dreamers.” Her new novel, “How Beautiful We Were,” came out this month. Leo Robson (Books, p. 69) is a contributing writer for the New Statesman. Caitlin Reid (Puzzles & Games Dept.), a crossword constructor since 2017, has created puzzles for the Times, the Wall Street…

the mail

A GLOBAL-HEALTH MYSTERY Siddhartha Mukherjee’s piece on why COVID-19 has hit some countries harder than others considers many possible explanations, including differences in government response, in levels of immunity, and in demographic features (“The COVID Conundrum,” March 1st). Another factor at play is cultural differences in the willingness to follow rules. In a study of fifty-seven countries published in The Lancet Planetary Health, my co-authors and I found that in cultures with looser social norms there were five times the number of COVID cases and more than eight times the deaths as in cultures with stricter norms. These effects were replicated when controlling for variables including under-reporting, wealth, inequality, population density, migration, government efficiency, political authoritarianism, median age, non-pharmaceutical government interventions, and climate. Ironically, looser cultures had more deaths but less…

goings on about town: this week

MARCH 17 – 23, 2021 While the Frick Collection’s historic mansion undergoes renovations, its masterpieces have a new home: the Frick Madison, opening on March 18. (Timed-entry tickets, available via, are required.) The Marcel Breuer-designed building, most recently a branch of the Met, turns out to be a magnificent context for the museum’s holdings—the brutalist décor even serves the frothy tastes of Madame du Barry, who commissioned Jean-Honoré Fragonard’s rococo painting “The Progress of Love: The Pursuit,” pictured above. MUSIC Drake: “Scary Hours 2” HIP-HOP Drake puts his fans on standby with “Scary Hours 2,” an hors d’oeuvre before the long-awaited release of his next album, “Certified Lover Boy.” The three-song EP is full of top-of-the-world grandstanding and mythmaking from a master of the form. His life has only grown more extravagant since…

tables for two: fat choy and spicy moon

Fat Choy 250 Broome St. Spicy Moon 328 E. 6th St. The other day, while placing an online order for Fat Choy, a new restaurant on the Lower East Side, I must have been trigger-happy: without meaning to, I ordered several items twice. It was a fortuitous accident; each dish on the tiny menu—which has been tightly edited to be as pandemic-proof as possible—is worth revisiting. I was particularly glad for the chance to closely examine the sticky-rice dumplings, the first container of which didn’t last long. The stretchy golden rectangles are nearly as flat as postage stamps, yet they bear an incredible amount of flavor, especially impressive considering that their scant filling is composed of kitchen scraps—cauliflower cores, collard stems, shiitakes and kombu strained out of stock—that assert themselves even beneath a generous blanket…

comment: bigger and better

Traditionally, every new Democratic President starts out by passing a big economic package (and every new Republican President starts out by passing a tax cut). Jimmy Carter’s, in 1977, cost twenty billion dollars. Bill Clinton’s, in 1993, was mainly a tax increase, aimed at eliminating the federal deficit. Barack Obama’s, in 2009, which passed during the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, cost eight hundred billion, some of it spending increases, some tax relief. The American Rescue Plan, which President Joe Biden signed last week, is on an entirely different scale. It will cost the government $1.9 trillion, even though the economy today is in better shape than it was when Obama took office; and, unlike Clinton’s opening economic initiative, it is proudly indifferent to the size of the federal…

family business: main-character syndrome

How do you teach your child about resilience? In contemporary Hollywood, the answer is trending toward: If the kid has an idea for a story, tell the kid to develop it as a TV show. Make it a family project. The result, in the case of the Barnz family—parents Ben and Daniel Barnz, both industry veterans, and their nineteen-year-old daughter, Zelda—is HBO Max’s “Generation,” an L.G.B.T.Q. teen dramedy, something of a “Girls” for Generation Z. The show tracks an ensemble cast, many of them queer, at a high school in Anaheim, California, instead of against the millennial backdrop of brunch and bars in Brooklyn. “I hate this phrase, but it was kind of a teachable moment,” Daniel, who co-wrote the show with his daughter, said. “I feel like, as a writer,…