The New Yorker May 10, 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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Gideon Lewis-Kraus (“The U.F.O. Papers,” p. 32) is a staff writer and the author of the memoir “A Sense of Direction.” Cynthia Zarin (Poem, p. 31), a regular contributor to the magazine since 1983, teaches at Yale. Her latest book is “Two Cities.” Matthew Hutson (“Growing It Back,” p. 26), a science writer, has published “The 7 Laws of Magical Thinking.” Erin I. Kelly (“Hard Labor,” p. 48), a philosopher and the author of “The Limits of Blame,” collaborated with the late Winfred Rembert on his forthcom-ing memoir, “Chasing Me to My Grave.” Thomas McGuane (Fiction, p. 56) began contributing fiction to The New Yorker in 1994. He most recently published “Cloudbursts: Collected and New Stories.” Doreen St. Félix (On Television, p. 74), a staff writer since 2017, is the magazine’s television critic. Winfred Rembert (“Hard…

the mail

CAN MEMORIES CHANGE? Rachel Aviv describes the way Elizabeth Loftus’s psychology research has established the fallibility of personal memory, and shows how her testimony in court has helped to exculpate innocent defendants (“Past Imperfect,” April 5th). The fact that there is limited experimental evidence for the emergence of memories of trauma long after it occurs does not prove that such memories are a fiction, of course. The malleability of memory, which Loftus’s research has demonstrated, suggests that it is just as likely that memories can be forgotten and later remembered as it is that they can be implanted or distorted. In Aviv’s account, Loftus’s repudiation of unconscious repressed memories comes across as motivated as much by personal bias as by anything else. When Aviv astutely notes that it’s “hard to avoid the…

goings on about town: this week

Allusions to Alexander Calder, Big Bird, and lunar landings converge on the roof of the Met, through Oct. 31, in “As Long as the Sun Lasts,” a new sculpture by Alex Da Corte (above, disguised as Jim Henson). An inscription on the base of the piece reads “1969”—but Da Corte made it during the past year. The American artist explains the anachronism in poetic terms: “I wanted to hearken back to the year Jim Henson brought the Muppets to Sesame Street, humans met the moon, and we took steps to a more equitable future.” MUSIC Joyce DiDonato: “Winterreise” CLASSICAL In Schubert’s song cycle “Winterreise,” the male narrator observes both the natural and the man-made worlds around him—a linden tree, a river, a mail coach, a graveyard—through the lens of his sorrow at a…

tables for two: thai diner

Thai Diner 186 Mott St. The other day, I came close to cancelling my plans for lunch outdoors at Thai Diner, in Nolita, on account of the forecast. That would have been a mistake, not because it didn’t rain—it poured—but because the weather actually enhanced the experience. With two friends, I sat on a tidy sidewalk platform, warmed by a heat lamp and dryly ensconced beneath a charmingly retro awning emblazoned with enticing words and images: “steak”; “coffee”; a stack of pancakes with a pat of butter. We felt hearty and resilient, and, best of all, we had the patio to ourselves, which proved especially lucky after we ordered enough food to spill over onto another table. Silky kabocha-squash red curry, with a flaky sheet of roti for dipping, fought for space with…

comment: childish things

“Superheroes Are Everywhere,” a “S children’s book celebrating ordinary people, by Vice-President Kamala Harris, has landed, like so many things in American politics today, in the middle of a very childish controversy. It began when residents of Long Beach, California, organized a toy--and-book drive for unaccompanied child immigrants being housed in a convention center there. Someone donated a copy of Harris’s book, and a journalist touring the facility saw it on a cot and took a picture of it. Partisan mayhem ensued, with headlines in the New York Post and on Fox News and complaints from sundry Republicans about an imaginary scheme to put a copy in a “welcome kit” for every immigrant, as if it were the Little Red Book, or an enrollment brochure for the Democratic Party. “Was…

beyond gamestop: the deli deal

Stock tip! Hometown International, Inc., is a company that consists of one Italian delicatessen, Your Hometown Deli, founded by a high-school wrestling coach in Paulsboro, New Jersey. On a typical day, Hometown’s sales total about eighty dollars. A few years ago, during the current bull market, Hometown decided to go public. The Securities and Exchange Commission was leery: Hometown’s major shareholders include my sterious entities based in Macao; plus, it is just one deli. When Hometown submitted its I.P.O. paperwork, the S.E.C. warned, “Please revise your disclosure throughout your filing to state that you are a shell company.” Hometown took exception to this. Shell companies don’t actually do business. Hometown, on the other hand, was procuring meats and sprucing up its storefront. “Various sinks and tables were purchased,” Hometown responded.…