Streams

George Packer and Dexter Filkins on the literature of the Iraq War.

Monday, March 31, 2014

George Packer and Dexter Filkins on the literature of the Iraq War.
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Malcolm Gladwell on the limits of American religious tolerance.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Malcolm Gladwell on the limits of American religious tolerance.
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Emily Nussbaum and Rachel Syme on the state of television.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Emily Nussbaum and Rachel Syme on the state of television.
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Andrew Solomon on Peter Lanza.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Andrew Solomon on Peter Lanza.
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Nicholas Thompson, Tim Wu, and Alan Burdick on “technological evolution.”

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

Nicholas Thompson, Tim Wu, and Alan Burdick on "technological evolution."
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David Remnick on Putin’s Russia

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

David Remnick on Putin's Russia.
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Adam Gopnik and James Wood on atheism and religious belief.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Adam Gopnik and James Wood on atheism and religious belief.
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Ariel Levy on Diana Nyad and writing about women and gender

Tuesday, February 04, 2014

This week in the magazine, Ariel Levy profiles the endurance swimmer Diana Nyad. Here, Levy speaks with Sasha Weiss about her piece and her interests as a writer. Levy has written about several female athletes, including the runner Caster Semenya and the boxer Claressa Shields, but says she's not really a sports fan. "Female athletes interest me because what you're talking about is strength and power," Levy says. "And that takes a certain amount of chutzpah to be female and say, 'I'm going to cultivate strength and speed and power and physical prowess.' So, from a sort of feminist point of view, that excites me." Levy has written about a range of subjects, including fashion, radical lesbian separatists, exotic cat breeding, and Silvio Berlusconi. Weiss asks if she sees herself as having a particular beat, and Levy says that, to some extent, she writes about gender and sexuality, but that that's only a starting point. A good story also needs a strong dramatic arc, Levy says, as well as a counterintuitive element, something that you don't see coming. "The trick is to find those things with a great story," she says. "It's no good, just, 'I'm going to go for a wallow in the sex and gender mud.' If there's no weird, crazy story, then it's just mud." Levy and Weiss also talk about how she finds the crucial twists in her stories, and about her recent personal account in the magazine about having a miscarriage while on a reporting assignment in Mongolia, what it was like for her to write about that experience, and what the response has been.
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Peter Schjeldahl on William Burroughs

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Peter Schjeldahl is the magazine's art critic, but this week he takes on a literary subject: William S. Burroughs. A new biography of Burroughs was recently published, and next month is the centenary of his birth. Schjeldahl writes that Burroughs is always being rediscovered by "properly disaffected young readers," and, on the podcast, he tells the editor Sasha Weiss that "reading Burroughs is a sort of rite of passage, which is most effective in your late teens, early twenties, but you can do a remedial one later on." For Schjeldahl, who was an aspiring poet in New York, in the nineteen-sixties, Burroughs and his "cut-up" writing style were an important influence. Here, Schjeldahl and Weiss listen to archival recordings of Burroughs reading from his first novel, "Junky," and discuss the transformative effect that Burroughs and the Beats had on American literature.
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Rebecca Mead and Daniel Zalewski on gender and literature.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

In the January 13th issue, Rebecca Mead profiles the hugely successful and popular fiction writer Jennifer Weiner, whose books have sold more than four and a half million copies. She's also known for her ongoing campaign against sexism toward female writers in the publishing industry. Here, Mead and the New Yorker editor Daniel Zalewski talk with Sasha Weiss about Weiner's effect on literary media, the porous distinction between commercial and literary fiction, and the pleasures to be had (or not) from comfort reading. Mead also talks about her forthcoming book about reading "Middlemarch" throughout her life. Also on the podcast, you can take Sarah Larson's dialect quiz.
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Evan Osnos on his years reporting from China.

Monday, January 06, 2014

Between 2008 and 2013, Evan Osnos was The New Yorker's China correspondent, reporting on everything from the country's increasing demand for psychoanalysis to a Profile of the artist Ai Weiwei. Since the fall, he's been reporting for the magazine from Washington, D.C., but he hasn't left China completely behind. In the current issue of the magazine, Osnos reports on the revival of Confucianism in the country, after many years when it was in disfavor with the Communist Party. Here he discusses Confucianism, reporting from China, and his new Washington, D.C., beat with the editor of The New Yorker's Web site, Nicholas Thompson. In addition, Maria Konnikova explains how she plans to keep her New Year's resolution to cut back on Internet use.
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Elizabeth Kolbert on the sixth great extinction.

Monday, December 30, 2013

Elizabeth Kolbert is a staff writer who is perhaps best known for her reporting on global warming. In 2006, after a series on the subject in the magazine, she published her book "Field Notes from a Catastrophe." Her reporting on climate change led her to investigate species extinction, which climate change is exacerbating. According to many scientists, we are now in the midst of the sixth great extinction, a massive die-off of species around the globe. In recent issues, The New Yorker has published pieces by Kolbert on species extinction, from chapters in her forthcoming book, "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History." Here, she talks to Sasha Weiss about the enormity of the problem. Also, Calvin Trillin samples the hot tamale on the Delta.
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James Carroll and Joan Acocella on Pope Francis.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

This week in the magazine, James Carroll writes about Pope Francis, who, since his election in March, has made headlines with his humble acts of kindness, his gentler tone on social issues like contraception and homosexuality, and his pointed critiques of inequality and capitalism. Joan Acocella has previously written in the magazine about the Pope's namesake, St. Francis of Assisi. Here Acocella and Carroll talk with Sasha Weiss about the crisis within the Catholic Church, and whether Pope Francis will be able to effect real change. Also on the podcast, David Remnick talks to Roger Angell about Angell's award from the Baseball Hall of Fame for his baseball writing.
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Sasha Frere-Jones on the year in music.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

This week in the magazine, Sasha Frere-Jones reviews the latest album from Britney Spears. Frere-Jones has written about many of the big pop releases this year, including music by Justin Timberlake, Eminem, Katy Perry, and Lorde. But he's also written about lesser-known acts like King Krule and the artists on the Tri Angle record label. Here, Frere-Jones talks with Sasha Weiss about his favorite music of 2013, why he thinks Kanye West's "Yeezus" is the album of the year, and how a new group of young musicians is pushing music forward.
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Daniel Mendelsohn on the persistence of Greek tragedies.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Daniel Mendelsohn has written extensively about how archetypes from Greek myth and tragedy are revised and revisited in contemporary culture, most recently with the anniversary of the J.F.K. assassination. Here, he talks with Sasha Weiss about how the story of J.F.K.s death satisfies twin desiresboth to marvel at a charismatic leader and also to witness his downfall. They discuss why Greek myth and tragedy are still so resonant when we read the news today, and Mendelsohn gives an anecdote from his upcoming book in which he retraces the journey of the Odyssey with his father.
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Nick Paumgarten and Peter Schjeldahl on the art world.

Monday, November 25, 2013

The recent sale at auction of a Francis Bacon triptych for $142.4 million has people talking, including Peter Schjeldahl and Nick Paumgarten. Paumgarten was at the auction, and, in this week's issue, he profiles one of the biggest players in the international art market, David Zwirner. Schjeldahl, the magazine's art critic, has also written about dealers and gallerists. In this week's podcast, they talk about art-market excess with the literary editor of The New Yorkers Web site, Sasha Weiss. Also, a song celebrating Thanksgivukkah.
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Richard Brody and Emily Nussbaum on depicting sex onscreen.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The French film "Blue is the Warmest Color" has been the subject of a lot of critical discussion, partly for its explicit depictions of lesbian sex. Here, Sasha Weiss talks with Richard Brody and Emily Nussbaum about their reactions to the film and what makes for good and bad sex in television and film. Brody, who has blogged about "Blue is the Warmest Color," thought the use of sex in the film was masterful. Nussbaum had a more mixed reaction and pointed to scenes from HBO's "Girls" and "The Big Chill" as examples of sex scenes she found more affecting. Also on the podcast, Ethan Kuperberg does stand-up therapy.
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Peter Hessler on writing about small towns.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In this week's issue, Peter Hessler writes about how the Egyptian revolution has played out Abydos, a small village in Upper Egypt. Here Sasha Weiss speaks with Hessler about why he likes to report from small towns, and how his years in China have helped him understand life in Egypt more clearly. Hessler explains how political power is expressed on the village level in both Egypt and China, and why we haven't seen a Chinese version of the Arab Spring. Weiss also asks about his piece on a small-town pharmacist in Colorado, and how he approaches writing about individuals and communities. Separately, Jeffrey Eugenides does his best Texan accent.
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Dan Chiasson on Marianne Moore.

Tuesday, November 05, 2013

This week in the magazine, Dan Chiasson reviews Linda Leavell's new biography of the modernist poet Marianne Moore, "Holding On Upside Down." Here Chiasson talks with Sasha Weiss and Giles Harvey about Moore's poetry and her mother, with whom Moore lived for most of her life, and who was intimately involved in the creation of her greatest poems. Also, Ian Crouch peeks behind George Lucas's curtain. Audio of Marianne Moore in this podcast is excerpted from the Poetry Center Digital Archive, which is made available under a Creative Commons license.
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Lauren Collins and Dana Goodyear on adventurous eating.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

This week in the magazine, Lauren Collins reports on the quest for the world's hottest pepper, and Dana Goodyear examines the food taboos surrounding whale and horse meat. Here they talk with Amelia Lester about the strangest foods they've ever eaten (including abalone and unhatched duck embryos), how gender roles shape eating habits, and what's behind our food taboos. Also, Richard Brody discusses baseball beards.
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