For its front-cabin passengers, United Airlines is turning Rhapsody into the Paris Review of the air, attracting authors like Joyce Carol Oates and Anthony Doerr.
—New York Times, May 3, 2015
Fly first class on United Airlines and you’ll get a complimentary literary magazine called Rhapsody. We’re flattered that the Times has seen fit to compare this lavish bit of swag to the Review. But what to read if you’re stuck in economy with the rest of us? Don’t despair—the “other” Paris Review travels everywhere, and it comes with some perks of its own.
- Stories about the misery that is actual air travel. Rhapsody avoids writing about “plane crashes or woeful tales of lost luggage or rude flight attendants.” But we’ve explored the dark side of the skies since 1978: “The stewardess who smells like a dead dog has already rolled me over so that I won’t aspirate if I vomit” (Dallas Wiebe, “Night Flight to Stockholm,” issue 73).
- Writing about sex. “We’re not going to have someone write about joining the mile-high club,” proclaims the editor in chief of Rhapsody. We make no such promise. As publishers of grown-up stories about grown-up life, we believe in frank depictions of eros—at cruising altitude or any other.
- One one-hundred-seventy-fifth of the cost. First-class flights from New York to Paris start at about seven thousand dollars. You can get a year of The Paris Review for forty bucks.
Subscribe now. You’re first class to us.