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Author Archive

Update: Writers, Named

December 9, 2015 | by

“Paris Review,” by Anthony Russo.

“Paris Review,” by Anthony Russo. (Click to enlarge.)

On Monday we announced a contest based on a recent archival discovery: a decades-old illustration, by Anthony Russo, of a Paris Review office packed with writers. To our surprise, after more than three hundred entries, we have only one winner: David DeJong, a copywriter from Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The writers are as follows:

1. Joan Didion
2. Milan Kundera
3. Samuel Beckett
4. Tama Janowitz
5. Truman Capote
6. Saul Bellow
7. Kurt Vonnegut
8. William Styron
9. Norman Mailer
10. William S. Burroughs
11. John Updike

Congratulations, David! And thanks to all those who participated.

Can You Name These Writers?

December 7, 2015 | by

Update: The winning responses were announced on December 9.

“Paris Review,” by Anthony Russo.

“Paris Review,” by Anthony Russo. (Click to enlarge.)

Here at The Paris Review’s offices, we’re often uncovering oddities from our archive: our “Twenty Year Index,” content from our very first Web site, festschrifts from bygone anniversaries. Last week, though, we discovered something entirely different: an illustration by Anthony Russo depicting a Paris Review office chock-full of literary heavyweights. And we’ve decided to have some fun with it.

If you can correctly identify all eleven writers in Mr. Russo’s illustration, we’ll give you a free one-year subscription to The Paris Review—along with a copy of our new anthology, The Unprofessionals. Just send an e-mail with the names and their accompanying numbers to contests@theparisreview.org; the first three correct lists will win.

Good luck—and have fun!

Stephen Andrew Hiltner is the senior editor of The Paris Review. You can find him online on Instagram and Twitter.

My Grandmother’s Wheelchair

August 6, 2015 | by

The author, posing with his grandmother, Natalie Faunda, in Budapest, 1990.

The author, posing with his grandmother, Natalie Faunda, at a park in Budapest, in 1990.

My grandmother had a stroke in her late sixties. She was out in her garden, struggling in the hot sun, when she collapsed into a row of tomato plants. 

A neighbor heard her cries for help and called an ambulance. It was a mild case of heat stroke, a doctor said; he sent her home. That night, having returned to her house on Vaughn Avenue—in what, even then, was one of the poorest parts of Youngstown: a neighborhood on the East Side called the Sharon Line—she suffered a second stroke. This one was much more severe. When she stabilized, days later, the right side of her body was paralyzed. She had a few months to live, maybe a year. 

Except that she didn’t; my grandmother would go on to live for nearly twenty years. And in the weeks that followed, at a local rehabilitation center, she learned to do with her left hand everything she’d done predominantly with her right: to write, to eat, to tie her shoelaces, to button her shirts. With the assistance of a quad cane, she eventually learned to walk—though in truth it was never much more than a shuffle. Read More »

5 COMMENTS

All the News Not Fit to Print

December 29, 2014 | by

We’re out until January 5, but we’re re-posting some of our favorite pieces from 2014 while we’re away. We hope you enjoy—and have a happy New Year!

NTNYT

“Sounds as if they emptied the back room at Elaine’s for this one.” —Calvin Trillin, in 1978, speculating on the character of those behind Not the New York Times.

The New York Times has seen surprisingly few interruptions in its 163-year history. The paper took five holidays in the early 1850s; a strike in 1962–3 led to a nineteen-day blackout; another, in 1965, caused four “joint” publication dates, which combined the Saturday and Sunday papers. And then there was 1978, when, from August 10 to November 4, a multiunion strike shuttered all three of New York City’s major newspapers. No editions of the Times were printed for a record-setting eighty-eight days.

Two and a half months into the ’78 strike, though, New Yorkers awoke to find the Times unexpectedly back on newsstands, kind of. This was Not the New York Times, a one-off parody rife with satirical news stories, faux advertisements, and farcical editorials. Among the items on the front page were an exposé on an exotic new drug (“pronounced ko-kayne” and “generally ingested nasally”), a tedious seven-paragraph report written entirely in bureaucratese (“Carter Forestalls Efforts To Defuse Discord Policy”), and Mayor Koch’s recipe for chicken curry. There was a weather notice, too: “Mostly present today, still there tomorrow.”

The spoof, it turned out, was the work of Paris Review founder George Plimpton and a handful of his friends, including Christopher Cerf, Tony Hendra, and Rusty Unger. Among those enlisted as “journalists” were Carl Bernstein, Nora Ephron, and Terry Southern—though none was exactly forthright about his or her contributions.

“I had nothing to do with this,” Cerf quipped. “I can give you a list of other people who weren’t involved as well. It’s also not true that we used the Plimptons’ apartment to put the paper together. I ought to know. I was there all week.” Plimpton himself was unavailable for comment—presumably tidying up after playing host to the editorial debauchery. (Incidentally, The Paris Review—also run out of Plimpton’s Seventy-second Street apartment—failed to meet its deadlines that fall; the staff was forced to merge its final two issues into a single Fall-Winter edition.) Read More >>

1 COMMENT

All the News Not Fit to Print

October 23, 2014 | by

NTNYT

“Sounds as if they emptied the back room at Elaine’s for this one.” —Calvin Trillin, in 1978, speculating on the character of those behind Not the New York Times.

The New York Times has seen surprisingly few interruptions in its 163-year history. The paper took five holidays in the early 1850s; a strike in 1962–3 led to a nineteen-day blackout; another, in 1965, caused four “joint” publication dates, which combined the Saturday and Sunday papers. And then there was 1978, when, from August 10 to November 4, a multiunion strike shuttered all three of New York City’s major newspapers. No editions of the Times were printed for a record-setting eighty-eight days.

Two and a half months into the ’78 strike, though—and thirty-six years ago today—New Yorkers awoke to find the Times unexpectedly back on newsstands, kind of. This was Not the New York Times, a one-off parody rife with satirical news stories, faux advertisements, and farcical editorials. Among the items on the front page were an exposé on an exotic new drug (“pronounced ko-kayne” and “generally ingested nasally”), a tedious seven-paragraph report written entirely in bureaucratese (“Carter Forestalls Efforts To Defuse Discord Policy”), and Mayor Koch’s recipe for chicken curry. There was a weather notice, too: “Mostly present today, still there tomorrow.”

The spoof, it turned out, was the work of Paris Review founder George Plimpton and a handful of his friends, including Christopher Cerf (the ringleader), Tony Hendra, and Rusty Unger. Among those enlisted as “journalists” were Carl Bernstein, Nora Ephron, and Terry Southern—though none was exactly forthright about his or her contributions.

“I had nothing to do with this,” Cerf quipped. “I can give you a list of other people who weren’t involved as well. It’s also not true that we used the Plimptons’ apartment to put the paper together. I ought to know. I was there all week.” Plimpton himself was unavailable for comment—presumably tidying up after playing host to the editorial debauchery. (Incidentally, The Paris Review—also run out of Plimpton’s Seventy-second Street apartment—failed to meet its deadlines that fall; the staff was forced to merge its final two issues into a single Fall-Winter edition.) Read More »

17 COMMENTS

TPR vs. Departures: Season Openers and Citi Bikes

May 31, 2013 | by

Team         |1|2|3|4|5|6|7   Total
Departures   |0|0|2|0|2|1|0       5
TPR          |0|5|4|2|4|3|       18
Photo by Emily Farache

Photo by Emily Farache

Well, folks: we’re off to a good start. Team Paris Review kicked off its season—and its residency at our new home field—with a comfortable win over the Platinum Card crew from Departures. Unlike the clientele of our vanquished foes, there was very little exclusivity in yesterday’s merry band of Parisian home-run hitters, which included the likes of Robyn “Big Daddy” Creswell, Adam “Watch It Fly” Wilson, Ben “Wisdom” Wizner, and Charlie “Buckets” Stein.

George Plimpton, founding editor of (and longtime pitcher for) The Paris Review

George Plimpton, founding editor of (and longtime pitcher for) The Paris Review

Those distracted from the game by the blissful heat of the late-spring afternoon may have noticed the elderly fellow who, having wrested free a Citi Bike from a nearby docking station—and evidently intent on imitating our circling of the bases—began looping around the park, occasionally glancing down at his feet to study the bike’s mechanics. Judging it sound, he exited the park just as we wrapped things up, and headed north on Tenth Avenue. I couldn’t help but be reminded of another gray-haired cyclist, one who’d no doubt approve of both a city full of public bikes and of another season of Paris Review softball.

Next up: Vanity Fair (June 11, 7:00 P.M., Central Park).

 

 

 

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