My 32-Year Relationship With The New Yorker Magazine
As a kid growing up, I avoided reading the New Yorker. My dad subscribed to it, so I figured I wouldn’t like it. Now I consider its writing some of the best around. Over the summer, I picked up this framed poster of an iconic New Yorker cover from a neighbor getting rid of it.
My opinion started changing in 1990, my year in Paris, when two things happened. First, when my dad visited, he knew I was craving things in English to read, so he brought six months of New Yorkers for me to read. I read each nearly cover to cover—announcements for events that had passed, the long articles, everything. I remember John Cheever’s diaries being the long article in three consecutive issues. Second, I met a friend who told me about the New Yorker‘s culture, like the Algonquin round table.
I’ve read it since; not every issue, nor even most articles, but I at least scan the headlines most weeks.
In 1999 my company, Submedia, and me started getting covered in comparable outlets, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, and so on, but not the New Yorker.
Not much later, a friend became regular cartoonist for the magazine. Her cartoons still show up regularly.
Some years later, I became columnist for Inc., then more years later, Psychology Today, though I haven’t written much for them. The New Yorker still operated on another level.
Since starting my podcast in 2017, I’ve hosted several guests who wrote articles in it: J. B. MacKinnon, Elizabeth Kolbert, Adam Hochschild, Michelle Nijhuis, Jesse Eisinger, and Eric Metaxas. I met regular columnist Bill McKibben at book signing and kept in touch since. I met Malcolm Gladwell a couple times in my neighborhood. He agreed to look at my book, though didn’t get endorsement.
Others guests have appeared in its pages: Michael Moss, Ashish Jha, Sebastian Junger, Frances Moore Lappé, Mayor Eric Adams, Dan Pink, Marshall Goldsmith, James Rebanks, Dan Barber, Doug McMaster, and my friend Neil Strauss, though he hasn’t been a guest yet.
I long wondered if I’d ever show up in its pages, either being covered or writing something. Submedia didn’t make the cut. I consider my work today in sustainability leadership more important, but the media seem to find it newsworthy.
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