The New Yorker July 26, 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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Rachel Aviv (“The Kentler Experiment,” p. 32), a staff writer, won a 2020 Front Page Award for her story about a COVID-19 outbreak in an Arkansas prison. R. Kikuo Johnson (Comic Strip, p. 28) teaches cartooning at the Rhode Island School of Design. His graphic novel “No One Else” will be out in November. David Biespiel (Poem, p. 58) is the author of numerous books, including the poetry collection “Republic Café” and the memoir “A Place of Exodus.” Margaret Talbot (Books, p. 72) has been a staff writer since 2004. Her latest book, with David Talbot, is “By the Light of Burning Dreams.” Christoph Niemann (Cover) most recently published “Pianoforte,” about the struggle and the joy of learning to play the piano as a grownup. Hannah Goldfield (Tables for Two, p. 13), the magazine’s food…

the mail

PLOT POINTS As someone who makes charts for a living, I agree with Hannah Fry that data visualization is an important tool for solving problems (A Critic at Large, June 21st). Fry uses the circumstances surrounding the explosion of the Challenger, when crucial data were poorly presented to decision-makers, as evidence of the explanatory power of charts. But the notion that proper data visualization “would have shown the truth at a glance” and prevented the Challenger’s explosion ignores a difficulty that has been noted by Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, of Google Brain: such a conclusion is clear only in hindsight. Ahead of the Challenger’s launch, analysts could have made hundreds of charts about variables associated with O-rings without knowing which of them might highlight a potentially fatal design flaw. Many…

goings on about town: this week

JULY 21 – 27, 2021 The opulent sculpture pictured here sharing a bench with a child on the High Line is “Stand Inside Your Love,” made by the artist and performer Raúl de Nieves for “The Musical Brain,” a surprise-packed group exhibition installed throughout the park until March, 2022. (De Nieves’s piece is situated near Hudson Yards.) The work of this Brooklyn-based artist reflects both his longtime interest in costumes—he learned how to sew as a boy in Michoacán, Mexico—and his involvement in New York City’s club scene. MUSIC “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” OPERA Rossini’s “Il Barbiere di Siviglia” is a prototypical bel-canto comedy—lean, farcical, sparkling—with a breathless pace that suits small, agile voices. Will Crutchfield’s company, Teatro Nuovo, promises a historically informed rendition, with larger voices that can nonetheless move (Hannah Ludwig, the…

goings on about town: television

David Makes Man This remarkably humane melodrama, created by Tarell Alvin McCraney (who co-wrote “Moonlight”), débuted on OWN, in 2019; its second season premièred in June. In Season 1, Akili McDowell gives a groundbreaking performance as David, a fourteen-year-old Black boy who lives with his doting mother, Gloria (Alana Arenas), a recovering addict, in a faded-pink housing project in Miami-Dade County, while attending a prim middle school for gifted students. Meanwhile, one of David’s neighbors, Mx. Elijah, played by Travis Coles, who is nonbinary, serves as a nurturer to the community. The first season is a surreal exploration of found family; the first three episodes of Season 2, which jumps a couple of decades into the future, denature much of what made Season 1 a non-normative surprise. The dialogue, which had…

tables for two: kjun

The other night, a group of friends, sitting around a West Village dining-room table for the first time in a long while, collectively gasped. A cardboard takeout box, its flaps carefully folded to allow for ventilation, had been opened to reveal a generous pile of arrestingly beautiful potato chips: almost weightless, yet crunchy; as glossy, transparent, and subtly bubbled as stained glass; slicked with brown butter and honey and dusted in Cajun spices. Fried to order by the chef Jae Jung, they are a highlight, among many, of the menu for Kjun, a pickup-and-delivery-only Korean-Cajun restaurant she’s been running since April, first from a dormant catering kitchen on the Upper East Side and now from the basement of a coffee shop in the East Village. Potato chips—the honey-butter variety has been…

comment: high fliers

“Jeff Bezos is going into space. Would you?” Amol Rajan, of the BBC, asked Sundar Pichai, the C.E.O. of Google, last week. “Well,” Pichai said, smiling, “I’m jealous, a bit. I would love to look at Earth from space.” Unlike most people, Pichai can probably afford to do so. Bezos, the founder of Amazon, sold a seat on his Blue Origin space company’s New Shepard rocket, set to launch this Tuesday, to someone who bid twenty-eight million dollars for it in an online auction and then cancelled, citing “scheduling conflicts.” The eighteen-year-old son of a Dutch investment-firm executive will be joining Bezos as “the first paying customer,” instead. The theatrics surrounding Bezos’s trip—which involves just a few minutes in space—contribute to the impression that we are not so much in a…