The New Yorker is turning 90, and it’s throwing itself a birthday party. A huge double issue, nine unique covers, and a look back from some of the magazine’s favorite writers.
Kara Miller talks with Editor-in-Chief David Remnick about how the magazine has changed in 90 years - from its innovative approach to storytelling, to the unique way it's embracing the Internet.
To mark the occasion, the Innovation Hub staff takes a look at some of our favorite short stories, articles, and yes, comics, from The New Yorker’s long history:
Outside the Box by Ken Auletta
Kara Miller - Host
I'm a big Ken Auletta fan, and I loved his piece on how Netflix may prove to be the undoing of television - at least in the traditional sense; the company has simultaneously given rise to an entirely new approach to making and consuming shows. The article opens with one of those scenes that makes you wish you could go back in time and yell at people for being idiots. In 2000, Blockbuster turned down Netflix's offer to own half of the then-struggling company, thinking they could expand into by-mail DVDs on their own timeline. Owning part of Netflix would, of course, have saved Blockbuster from death, but, to be fair, a company furiously stuffing movies into red envelopes probably didn't seem like the next big thing.
Genevieve Gilson - Production Assistant
Long before Maru and other cat sensations took the Internet by storm – there were the New Yorker cat cartoons. Even if you don’t have cat hair permanently embedded into your clothing, you can still enjoy them. The New Yorker felines are seldom cute and cuddly. Instead, the single-panel cartoons often depict sardonic or persnickety cats – and other animals – in human situations. The captions always provoke more questions and I enjoy creating my own backstories for the situations these animals find themselves in.
What My Mom Said on “Take Your Parents to Work” Day by Caitlin Kelly
Mary Dooe - Producer
I don't always have the best recall on things I've read months and years ago – the days fly by and words go in and out of my brain. Which perhaps explains why the piece that sticks out to me is one from Nov 2014, a humor piece online that I could relate to. One of the things the New Yorker does best is pick apart the assumptions we all have and throw them in our faces — this struck a chord because it reminded me just how far removed my own mother is from the daily intricacies of my own media job.
The Poet’s Hand by Adam Gopnik
Danielle Herrera - Intern
If you're like me and love the smell of an old library book, then you'll love reading this New Yorker piece about two book dealers who may have found Shakespeare's secret to success. Though a book printed in 1580 might be a little smellier than you'd like, it may have, in fact, sparked a crucial movement in history. Author Adam Gopnik takes these two older gentlemen, who consider themselves "lifers in the love of old books," down a path of literary discovery, searching for Shakespeare's inspiration.
A Tiny Feast by Chris Adrian
Marc Sollinger - Associate Producer
Fairies take care of a cancer-riddled child. That synopsis makes ‘A Tiny Feast’ sounds maudlin and awful. But, and excuse the awful pun, there’s magic here. This is a wonderful story, probably my favorite ever, and a great example of the type of fiction that the New Yorker can showcase. It’s subtle without being boring, moving without being ostentatious, and if you can experience it without getting your heart broken, I’m fairly certain you’re an android trying to pass as human. Read it. Now.