Life Stories: Profiles from The New Yorker

David Remnick

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Life Stories: Profiles from The New Yorker

Life Stories Profiles from The New Yorker One of art s purest challenges is to translate a human being into words The New Yorker has met this challenge successfully and originally than any other modern American journal It has indelibly shaped

  • Title: Life Stories: Profiles from The New Yorker
  • Author: David Remnick
  • ISBN: 9780375757518
  • Page: 377
  • Format: Paperback
  • One of art s purest challenges is to translate a human being into words The New Yorker has met this challenge successfully and originally than any other modern American journal It has indelibly shaped the genre known as the Profile Starting with light fantastic evocations of glamorous and idiosyncratic figures of the twenties and thirties, such as Henry Luce aOne of art s purest challenges is to translate a human being into words The New Yorker has met this challenge successfully and originally than any other modern American journal It has indelibly shaped the genre known as the Profile Starting with light fantastic evocations of glamorous and idiosyncratic figures of the twenties and thirties, such as Henry Luce and Isadora Duncan, and continuing to the present, with complex pictures of such contemporaries as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Richard Pryor, this collection of New Yorker Profiles presents readers with a portrait gallery of some of the most prominent figures of the twentieth century These Profiles are literary journalistic investigations into character and accomplishment, motive and madness, beauty and ugliness, and are unrivalled in their range, their variety of style, and their embrace of humanity.Including these twenty eight profiles Mr Hunter s Grave by Joseph Mitchell Secrets of the Magus by Mark Singer Isadora by Janet Flanner The Soloist by Joan Acocella Time Fortune Life Luce by Walcott Gibbs Nobody Better, Better Than Nobody by Ian Frazier The Mountains of Pi by Richard Preston Covering the Cops by Calvin Trillin Travels in Georgia by John McPhee The Man Who Walks on Air by Calvin Tomkins A House on Gramercy Park by Geoffrey Hellman How Do You Like It Now, Gentlemen by Lillian Ross The Education of a Prince by Alva Johnston White Like Me by Henry Louis Gates, Jr Wunderkind by A J Liebling Fifteen Years of The Salto Mortale by Kenneth Tynan The Duke in His Domain by Truman Capote A Pryor Love by Hilton Als Gone for Good by Roger Angell Lady with a Pencil by Nancy Franklin Dealing with Roseanne by John Lahr The Coolhunt by Malcolm Gladwell Man Goes to See a Doctor by Adam Gopnik Show Dog by Susan Orlean Forty One False Starts by Janet Malcolm The Redemption by Nicholas Lemann Gore Without a Script by Nicholas Lemann Delta Nights by Bill Buford

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    One thought on “Life Stories: Profiles from The New Yorker

    1. Chrissie on said:

      Below are listed the essays in the order they appear in the book. In parentheses are the persons about which the respective essays are about. Then is stated the author and my personal rating of the essay. Please do keep in mind that even a 2 stars rating indicates that I felt the essay was OK, 3 stars means I liked it, 4 that I liked it a lot and 5 that it was fantastic. The average of my ratings comes to between 3 and 4. I am choosing to give the entire book 4 because when I look at the whole, [...]

    2. Kyle on said:

      So I haven't actually read this whole book, just several of the essays, but I have been spending a lot of my time lately with my nose in the New Yorker archives. My print subscription ran out a few months ago, but for some reason my digital subscription and archive access hasn't changed. The biggest problem with the New Yorker archives is that unless you know what you're looking for, it's hard to run across anything interesting. What they need is a digital archivist, like Sports Illustrated has, [...]

    3. Jessica on said:

      Re-reading this collection ten years later, it strikes me that a lot of these profiles haven't aged very well, especially ones written by male writers on female subjects. The one exception, the profile that most endures, to me at least, is Janet Malcolm's "41 False Starts," which is a masterpiece of form echoing content.

    4. Matthew on said:

      This was amazing -- the best collection of essays I've read since, well, the best American essays of the century collection. Coming from the New Yorker this collection has more of a formula (there is a certain style that runs throughout, despite the variation in subject) and I suppose a certain similarity of perspective -- that of an uptown Eastern elite looking with somewhat clinical interest down on the specimen Nonetheless these are wonderfully entertaining and also terribly educational (for [...]

    5. T on said:

      Ricky Jay, Baryshnikov, Brando, and Anatole Broyard are by far the most interesting and well-written profiles.

    6. Bronwyn on said:

      This is a big fat book of over 600 pages. But the quality of the writing and variety of the subject matter keeps it fresh. I especially loved checking out the different approaches the writers take to reveal their subjects -- some conventional and some much less so. Mr. Hunter's Grave (the first story) is the master of the form. It's so quiet and unassuming with such beautiful prose. The Education of a Prince wins for pure reading enjoyment. Dealing with Roseanne is funny and bold and is the best [...]

    7. Tony on said:

      Remick, David (ed.) LIFE STORIES: PROFILES FROM “THE NEW Yorker.” (2000). ****. I usually read the profiles in “The New Yorker,” but since I’m no longer a subscriber I’m at the mercy of my local library when I can get there. Also, there were certainly a lot of issues before I became a subscriber that I missed. All that aside, this is a selection of some of the finest profiles that appeared over the years. “The New Yorker” profile is not a biography, but “a concise rendering of [...]

    8. Jeremy on said:

      I did not read this whole book BUT: there are two profiles in it that are utterly brilliant and unforgettable. The most amazing one is on Ricky Jay, the magician, scholar, and unclassifiable entertainer. I recall reading it in the New Yorker years ago and being blown away by it. Jay is probably a true genius and might possibly be able to do real magic, if the stories told here about him are true. You have to read it to believe it. Plus, the article serves as a sort of introduction into the world [...]

    9. Kate on said:

      These stories make the ordinary extraordinary, and although that may sound like a back cover review quote, it's true. I started reading this book to get a break from Guns, Germs, and Steel. I felt like every time I read about a new historical tribe or new society, it was a tease because the next chapter was about crops spread around the world before the year of Christ. I do enjoy the book and I understand the magnitude of its purpose. However, I miss hearing about people Individuals like Mr. Hun [...]

    10. Diana Higgins on said:

      One of the best books I've ever read. Sometimes when I read New Yorker Profiles, I think they're a little too in-depth. I read the first third and think, ok, I'm good, but then it goes on and on beyond that point. But right now this worked for me. Almost every profile opened up dozens of doors in my mind, led me down new paths of thinking. And almost every profile had at least one (some had a dozen) references which I didn't quite get; I thought more than once that going back and rereading, taki [...]

    11. flannery on said:

      I was going to read the essays on Roseanne and Richard Pryor and call it quits but this whole book is really incredible. Especially and unexpectedly interesting: essays on the Chudnovsky Bros Anatole Broyard, Ricky Jay, and Heloise. On Anatole Broyard: "You know, he turned it into a joke. And when you change something basic about yourself into a joke, it spreads, it metastasizes, and so his whole presentation of self became completely ironic. Everything about him was ironic." Also introduced me [...]

    12. Jenna Fisher on said:

      Some amazing profiles in here. And some older, less interesting ones. Two that surprised me were "Dealing with Rosanne" by John Lahr - he painted such a full portrait of what she has overcome to be who she is. I was floored. And "Man Goes to See a Doctor (Max Grosskurth) by Adam Gopnik. That one brought tears to my eyes: a weird thing task when you're reading about someone's shrink. Also enjoyed Malcolm Gladwell's "The Coolhunt" and Nancy Franklin's "Lady with a Pencil" about Katharine White and [...]

    13. Grace on said:

      These were my favorite stories from the mix. Well written and well read.Isadora (Isadora Duncan), by Janet FlannerNobody Better, Better Than Nobody (Heloise), by Ian FrazierThe Coolhunt (Baysie Wightman and DeeDee Gordon), by Michael GladwellMr. Hunter's Grave (George H. Hunter), by Joseph MitchellShow Dog (Biff Truesdale), by Susan OrleanThe Man Who Walks on Air (Philippe Petit), by Calvin TomkinsCovering the Cops (Edna Buchanan), by Calvin Trillin

    14. Mary Whisner on said:

      A collection of profiles from the magazine that invented (or notably developed) the genre, the subjects range from Ernest Heningway to an unknown state wildlife employee. The charm of the anthology is not only in the pieces, which are individually interesting, nor in the authors, who are among the twentieth century's best, but in their arrangement. It adds something to read a profile of Mikhail Baryshnikov right after a profile of Isadora Duncan from several decades earlier

    15. Francisco on said:

      Read profiles of a gentleman named Hemmingway and a doting New Yorker magazine woman editor Katherine White who was the consummate worrier over the magazine's writers. Included also are Al Gore and Adam Gopnik. In the latter, Mr. Gopnik writes about his experience with psychoanalysis and learns about some worthwhile things in Life.

    16. Dani on said:

      This was a wonderful book. The people profiled in this book had interesting lives and the authors of the stores did a great job of articulating that point. I really liked the George W Bush and Al Gore profiles - one right after the other. The first profile - "Mister Hunter's Grave" is amazing. Could go on. I loved them all.

    17. Ke on said:

      In my opinion, some profiles were better than others (Ross' Hemingway rocked!). However, the collection contains such a big variety that I believe it will have a profile that will interest anyone.8/22/12 - This book also gives the reader an idea what kind of nonfiction writers the reader enjoys.

    18. Wendy on said:

      I wanted this book to be perfect and it wasn't. It made me realize that too many New Yorker profiles are too long and too staidly written. That said, there are some fantastic examples of the form here. The contributions from Richard Preston, Lillian Ross, Henry Louis Gates, Jr, and janet Malcolm are stunning.

    19. Taruia on said:

      I wasn't sure what to make of this book - the first story was outstanding but after a while it all seemed a bit same-y. I was told by the guy in the bookstore to go straight to the story about Madonna. Luck I didn't because I got through 2 pages about the Material Girl, closed the book, and haven't opened it since.

    20. Michael on said:

      I wish I could write half as well as these writers. Brilliant profiles, a huge inspiration to my own writing. Even if you're not a writer you should really enjoy the stories of some of these people. Some of my favourite profiles were of Marlon Brando, Steve Blass and Ricky Jay, among others.

    21. Lydia on said:

      Life Stories is a collection of profiles published in the New Yorker. Most are by famous New Yorker writers—Joseph Mitchell, AJ Liebling, Lillian Ross, Ian Frazier—but only one piece from each writer was allowed by the editor.

    22. Terence Manleigh on said:

      A marvelous collection of some of the best "Profiles" pieces from "The New Yorker" magazine over the last 80 years. The writing is impeccable, the subjects fascinating, and the pleasure quotient immeasurable.

    23. Susan on said:

      These are examples of an amazing genre. I love to read the New Yorker's profiles when I have time. Joseph Mitchell, the author of Mr. Hunter's Grave," has a collection out entitledUp in the Old Hotel, which I highly recommend.

    24. Anna on said:

      These are amazing. I recommend that everyone keep this on your nighttable.

    25. Barbara on said:

      Oh, this book is lovely to savor. I'm just strolling through the profiles, one at a time. I love that they are picked from early New Yorkers and current.

    26. Anabelle DARIO on said:

      I'm in to this now. Currently reading on Ernest Hemmingway. Interesting.

    27. Julie on said:

      The Al Gore profile was worth the price of the entire book. Too bad the others that were chosen were not nearly as memorable or as good as in recent New Yorkers.

    28. Carrie on said:

      These profiles are my reason for reading The New Yorker mostly, and here are a bunch of the good ones, all collected in a book!

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