We are all very sad to hear that Open City magazine has closed up shop after twenty years of downtown glory. We looked up to them as big brothers- and sisters-in-arms. As Thessaly put it just now, every issue got you on its wavelength—and that wavelength was a good place to be. Open City introduced many of us to writers like David Berman, Sam Lipsyte, Samantha Gillison, and Mary Gaitskill (not to mention Open City editors Thomas Beller, Daniel Pinchbeck, and Robert Bingham). It was the epitome of cool, from its design to the mix of fiction and poetry in its pages to its rent parties (price of admission: one copy). Even the readings were cool—as cool as the Aqua Velva eyes of head editor Joanna Yas. (We hope and trust another magazine will put those eyes to use, and fast.)
The good news is that Open City Books will stay in business. The backlist may be small, but with early works by Berman, Lipsyte, Edward St. Aubyn, it is mighty indeed. We look forward to Open City Books’ next publication: Lara Vapnyar’s novel The Smell of Pine.