The Editors

All articles by this author

Feelings Were Stirred

Hyperbolic comparisons, grinding misogyny to dust

At the catered events and private parties, I wore various uniforms and carried around silver trays of beautifully shaped hors d’oeuvres that sat on topiaries to make them look even more cunningly alluring — which wasn’t necessary but was a thing in that time. I served and was invisible to precisely the characters you describe in your novel. They were younger, more beautiful, and more ambitious than I had ever been, more sure of their success than I had ever dreamed it was possible to be and at the same time trembling with anxiety that the vaunted appointments to fame and accolades and cash advances they believed were their inheritance would not in fact come to them because the world was already turning against them and they might be the last generation to die.

Consequences of Deferred Maintenance

Consequences of Deferred Maintenance

Pandemic time

What the deregulatory and deconstructive impulse share is a distinctly temporal quality, instilling the slow seep of future degradation even as immediate consequences are typically nonexistent. Killing long days by walking across New York’s many structurally deficient bridges, it occurred to us that this is how Covid has felt, too, even if deregulation is only one of a litany of factors that led to the US’s inability to respond to the pandemic in a responsible or even minimally humane way. The slow creep of emergency that attended the pandemic’s arrival in February and March—and the halting, dreadful recognition that its sped-down time would persist for weeks, then months, then years longer than we’d ever imagined—has as its echo the relative imperceptibility of deregulation’s extended-release effects.

Smorgasbords Don’t Have Bottoms

Publishing in the 2010s

No one wakes up in the morning hoping to be as vapid as possible. But eventually you internalize the squeeze. Everyone down the chain adjusts their individual decisions to the whim of the retailer, or to their best guess at the whim of the retailer. If it’s Barnes & Noble, you may hear that a cover doesn’t work, that the store won’t carry the title unless you change it. If it’s Amazon, you may not hear anything at all. You go back and adjust your list of wildly optimistic comparative titles — it’s The Big Short, but . . . for meteorology!