The New Yorker

Articles from Vol. 89, No. 2, 2013

After Syria
The bodies of the two young fighters from Hezbollah were already in the ground when the memorial service began. They'd been killed days before, and their smiling portraits hovered above an outdoor stage in their village, Sohmor, in Lebanon's Bekaa Valley....
Bloodbath
Backstage at the Metropolitan Opera, fifteen minutes before the start of a rehearsal for Act II of Wagner's "Parsifal." Six two-hundred-and-fifty-gallon tanks stand in a row at the rear of a shallow, ruddy-colored vinyl pool that covers most of the stage....
Chinese Puzzle
For a city enthralled by intelligence work, like Washington, D.C., provocative intellects are a rare breed. So Leland Miller didn't expect a warm reception when he rolled into town recently, declaring that everything everyone thinks he knows about China's...
Field Trip
When Patricia Cornwell wrote her first forensic thriller, in 1990, the amount of evidence required for DNA identification was a drop of blood. Twenty-three years and a twenty-book series later, analysts can make a match using just six skin cells. Not...
Home Brew
The Lady in Orange said it first: "ever since i realized there was someone callt / a colored girl an evil woman a bitch or a nag / i been tryin not to be that & leave bitterness / in somebody else's cup." So wrote Ntozake Shange, in her classic 1974...
Jones Wood Foundry
Before Coney Island and the Catskills, there was Jones Wood, a forested section of Manhattan running down to the East River between what are now Sixty-sixth and Seventy-fifth Streets. This rustic plot was a popular getaway for the island's suffocated...
Just Saying
A Forty-second Street rehearsal studio. Card tables line one wall; the playwright and the director are seated at one of them, talking quietly. An actor enters.THE ACTOR: I saw "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?" last night, everybody.The director glances...
L'etranger
Nouns get all the good parts--potato, macaca, the Appalachian Trail--but this winter, in Paris, a jobbing three-syllable adjective set off a political scandal. Minable, meaning "pathetic" or "shabby," debuted on the breakfast show "Telematin" on December...
Shark Week
"House of Cards" is an original release from Netflix, a DVD-distribution and streaming company that has decided, after several years of selling tickets to the circus, to jump into the ring. Adapted from a British political thriller, and produced by David...
Songs of Angry Men
On March 1, 1985, Herbert Kretzmer, a droll, rangy South African lyricist, came home from his day job as a TV critic for the Daily Mail, climbed the steps to his London flat, put a Teddy bear--a Christmas gift from Terence Stamp--on his desk, lit a candle,...
State of the (G.O.P.) Union
Something there is about the experience of being the leader of the free world that can drive a man to paint. Dwight D. Eisenhower's homely canvases of barns and the like weren't that bad, an opinion the artist did not share. "Let's get something straight...
The Hangover
One Saturday in 1972, a sixteen-year-old auto mechanic named Manuel Fuentes hitched a ride from his home town of Ciempozuelos, half an hour south of Madrid, to the nearby village of Sesena. In a discotheque that night, he met a thirteen-year-old girl...
This Is Your Life
Adam Phillips, Britain's foremost psychoanalytic writer, dislikes the modern notion that we should all be out there fulfilling our potential, and this is the subject of his new book, "Missing Out: In Praise of the Unlived Life" (Farrar, Straus &...
Ways to Win
Just out of interest, how hard is it to die? Not hard at all, to judge by the quantity and the frequency of deaths that are meted out, with untiring largesse, by the "Die Hard" films. We have now reached No. 5 in the franchise, "A Good Day to Die Hard,"...
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