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Arthur Krystal on Why Writers Lie

Your story “What’s the Deal, Hummingbird?” is a kind of tour through the life of a New Yorker in his seventies, who is reflecting on what he can remember from his past. You’re also a New Yorker in your seventies; how does this character differ from you?Photograph by Pascal Biomez / GettyTrue, we’re the same age and we both live in New York, but I’m not sure that matters much.
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Thomas Mann’s Brush with Darkness

ContentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.In 1950, a Briefly Noted reviewer in this magazine made short work of “The Thomas Mann Reader,” an anthology culled from the German novelist’s vast prose output: “The total impression created by this three-hundred-thousand-word monument is that Mann is a major writer, but perhaps not all that major.” A New Yorker subscriber in Los Angeles, residing at 1550 San
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Graham Swift on the “Big” and “Small” Worlds

Your story “Fireworks” is set in late October of 1962, during the Cuban missile crisis. What made you want to revisit that period?Photograph by Colin McPherson / GettyI think it was the story that made me revisit. It was that way round, as it often seems to be. The first sentences of the story, with their historical annunciation, came into my head—I can’t say why—then everything else followed. But I
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A Holocaust Survivor’s Hardboiled Science Fiction

ContentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.In “His Master’s Voice,” a 1968 sci-fi novel by the Polish writer Stanisław Lem, a team of scientists and scholars convened by the American government try to decipher a neutrino signal from outer space. They manage to translate a fragment of the signal’s information, and a couple of the scientists use it to construct a powerful weapon, which the
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The Other Great Series of Novels About a Middle-Aged Norwegian

Toward the end of the first decade of this century, a promising Norwegian writer in his late thirties, with two novels to his name, published a new book, the start of a longer fictional series, which would win him critical acclaim in his own country and lead to more than a dozen translations abroad. With an addictive and yet, at times, maddeningly logorrheic style, the series delved deep into questions
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Kevin Barry Reads V. S. Pritchett

ContentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Listen and subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google | Wherever You ListenSign up to receive our weekly newsletter of the best New Yorker podcasts.Photograph by David Levenson / GettyKevin Barry joins Deborah Treisman to read and discuss “A Family Man,” by V. S. Pritchett, which was published in The New Yorker in 1977. Barry is a winner of the International
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Joan Didion and the Voice of America

No country but America could have produced Joan Didion. And no other country would have tolerated her. Think about it. Born in 1934, and gone this month, eighty-seven years later, Didion came of age during Stalin’s reign, at a time when South Africa was instituting apartheid, when India and Pakistan were almost drowning in the aftermath of Partition. Would Mao’s China have welcomed her? Or England—the country of saying the
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The Year in New Yorker Poetry

If the year 2020 seemed, for better or worse, to mark the start of a new era—one heralded by a global pandemic and a widespread civil-rights protest movement—2021 perhaps felt characterized more by frustration, bringing neither the “return to normal” that many hoped would come with a COVID vaccine nor the kind of radical social restructuring for which the moment might have been ripe. Instead, the pandemic continues—wave after wave,
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Jennifer Egan Reads “What the Forest Remembers”

ContentThis content can also be viewed on the site it originates from.Listen and subscribe: Apple | Spotify | Google | Wherever You ListenSign up to receive our weekly newsletter of the best New Yorker podcasts.Photograph by Colin McPherson / Corbis / GettyJennifer Egan reads her story “What the Forest Remembers,” from the January 3 & 10, 2022, issue of the magazine. Egan is the author of six books of fiction,
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Jennifer Egan on the Dangers of Knowing

Your story “What the Forest Remembers” has two story lines: in one, set on a day in 1965, four men experience the emerging counterculture in a California redwood forest; in the other, the daughter of one of the men uses the technology of the future to experience his memories of that day. That technology is the backbone of your forthcoming book, “The Candy House.” How did the idea of it