Start Spreading the News
The New Yorker has been on a roll lately. Another first-person piece I expect to win awards is Calvin Trillin's portrait of his late wife, "Alice, Off the Page," which appeared in the March 27 issue. Unfortunately, neither Trillin's piece nor Raeburn's is on the magazine's Web site -- at least not yet.
The New Yorker was, of course, once the premier American magazine for fiction. I started reading it regularly in college while taking long study breaks in the library periodicals room. (I'd started reading the cartoons in high school.) After I graduated, I subscribed. In the early and mid-'80s there would be two good short stories in every issue -- usually one short and one longer, one of them often by a lesser-known writer. (Today almost all of the magazine's fiction seems to be by "names.") I was introduced to so many great contemporary fiction writers during that time: Ann Beattie, Lorrie Moore, Michael Cunningham, Peter Cameron.
I stopped subscribing for a while in the '90s, then started again after David Remnick came on as editor. The magazine is now the premier American magazine for nonfiction, in my opinion. I don't even read the fiction anymore. Remnick is probably the best -- and luckiest -- magazine editor working today. At least judging by the product that comes through my mail slot every week. I can only imagine he's as good an editor to work for.
Lucky bastards who work at the New Yorker.