This week, Simon Rich's new novella "Sell Out" is being serialized on newyorker.com. It's the story of Simon Rich's great-great-grandfather, who falls into a pickle barrel and emerges, one hundred years later, into hipster Brooklyn. On the podcast this week, Rich reads excerpts from the first installment, and then talks with Susan Morrison about the inspiration for his novella, his experiences writing for Saturday Night Live, and his love of the comedic premise, as practiced by Roald Dahl, T. C. Boyle, Douglas Adams, Kurt Vonnegut, and others.
This week in the magazine, Adam Gopnik tries to unravel the science behind our love of music. Here Gopnik talks with managing editor Amelia Lester about how different his own early experiences with music were from those of his children, and why the shift from vinyl and hi-fi to MP3s and earbuds isnt such a bad thing. Also, an epic out-of-office message from S.N.L. writer Colin Jost.
This week in the magazine, James Wood reviews the novels of the mysterious Italian writer "Elena Ferrante." Ferrante writes under a pseudonymalmost nothing is known about her true identity. Here Sasha Weiss talks with James Wood and Ann Goldstein, Ferrante's English translator, about her intensely personal, often brutally honest writing. Also, Rebecca Mead on season three of "Downton Abbey."
This week in the magazine, Rachel Aviv looks at the medicalization of child-porn users and pedophiles. Here Aviv talks with Sasha Weiss about her interest in the subject, as well as about other articles she has written on socially marginalized, compromised, or despised people. Also, Gregory Buck compares the mathematics of winter to the mathematics of summer.
This week in the magazine, Mendelsohn writes about his boyhood correspondence with the novelist Mary Renault. Here Mendelsohn talks with Sasha Weiss about how Renault's novels helped him negotiate his own sexuality, and also led to his career as a writer and classicist. Mendelsohn also talks about how his own criticism, which brings a classicists perspective to bear on modern culture, shares similar goals as Renault's novelizations of ancient Greece.
Last week in the magazine, Dexter Filkins wrote a Talk of the Town piece about Kathryn Bigelow, the director of "Zero Dark Thirty," and this week David Denby has a review of the film. Here, Denby and Filkins talk with Susan Morrison about the film and the controversy surrounding its depiction of torture in the hunt for Osama bin Laden. Also, Alex Koppelman on the best conspiracy theories of 2012.
After twenty years as The New Yorker's senior drama critic, John Lahr is stepping down (although he will still write Profiles for the magazine). Here Lahr talks with his editor Deborah Treisman about growing up in the showbiz world of his father, Bert Lahr; the role of theatre (and critics) in our culture; and the playwrights that have been important to him. Also: 2012 book recommendations from Louis Menand, Judith Thurman, and Marisa Silver.
This week in the magazine, Ken Auletta profiles Elisabeth Murdoch, the daughter of Rupert. Here Auletta talks with Amelia Lester and Nicholas Thompson about the phone-hacking scandal, Elisabeth's critical take on News Corp., and which of Rupert's children might win the Murdoch throne. Also, Thomas Beller on how smartphone photography is affecting our memory.
This week in the magazine, Calvin Trillin writes about the eating pleasures to be had in Oaxaca, Mexico. Here, Trillin joins Lester and Sasha Weiss to talk about current food trends, what they look for in a restaurant, and how the Immigration Act of 1965 revolutionized eating in America. Also, Joan Acocella on why so many good novels end badly.
This week in the magazine, Nick Paumgarten explores the lure and lore of the colossal Grateful Dead recording archive. Here Paumgarten talks with Sasha Frere-Jones and Sasha Weiss about his own history as a Grateful Dead fan and tape collector, and what it is about the recordings that still captivates him. Also, Avi Steinberg on the fear of floods in the age of global warming.
This week in the magazine, Kelefa Sanneh profiles the genre-jumping musician Kid Rock, who got his start in hip-hop, went platinum with rap-rock, and then transitioned into country music. Here Sanneh listens to Kid Rock's music with Curtis Fox and talks about how his early years in Detroit's hip-hop scene shaped his identity as a country-rocker. Also, Donald Hall on what reading poetry has in common with oral sex (spoiler: vowels).
In this week's issue, Alex Ross reflects on the gay community's extraordinary political progress in recent decades. For The New Yorker Out Loud, Ross and Hilton Als talk with Sasha Weiss about what increasing assimilation means for gay culture. Also, George Saunders confesses his love for Ayn Rand.
In the current issue of The New Yorker, Dexter Filkins writes about an ex-Marine seeking forgiveness from the family of the Iraqi civilians his unit killed. Here Filkins talks with Nicholas Thompson and George Packer about the ongoing effects of the Iraq War on those who were there, and why the rest of the country has yet to deal with the legacy of a war we largely ignored. Also: Hilton Als on the Barbra Streisand persona.
This week in the magazine, George Packer profiles the political operative Jeff Connaughton, whose long career in Washington provides an insider's view on how lobbyists and money drive the political process. Here Packer talks with Larissa MacFarquhar and Sasha Weiss about the underlying problems with our political culture and why Obama's bipartisan aspirations have completely failed. Also: the personal blog of Jean-Paul Sartre, and sexy Irish outlaws.
In the current issue, Peter Schjeldahl reviews a retrospective of the work of Ai Weiwei, the international art star and political provocateur, at the Hirshhorn Museum, in Washington, D.C. Here Schjeldahl talks with Sasha Weiss and Evan Osnos, who profiled Ai Weiwei for the magazine two years ago. Also: What to do about dead cats, and David Sedaris on his stuffed dog.