Sunday, November 15, 2009

The New Yorker

Nov. 2, 2009

I've managed to fall way behind on my magazine reading, and as such, I've noticed I haven't been writing about any "Things I Like" in the magazines I've read. So, in capsule form:

The Good Cook by Barbara Demick

I've mentioned before my on-going interest in North Korea as one of the strangest places on Earth. In this article, Demick tells the life story of Song Hee-Suk, a woman who raised her family under the Kim regime. It is an incredible story, as she recounts Song's relationship with food in the 'good years', and then as famine gripped the country. Her story is harrowing, especially when one takes into account that she generally believed the propaganda fed to her, at least until she defected to South Korea. This is a fantastic article.

Unmasked by Chris Ware
This four-page comic has convinced me to start reading Ware - now I need to find some inexpensive editions of the Acme Novelty Library on Ebay or something. In this short piece, a woman visits her mother on Hallowe'en. She is contemplating leaving her husband, although she says nothing of this to her mom. The older woman, however, intuits that something is up, and reveals that her husband had had an affair, something she didn't discover until after his death. It's a powerful piece of work. Also, Ware's cover to this issue is gorgeous.

While the Women Are Sleeping by Javier Marías

This is a creepy little story told by a man on vacation to a Spanish island with his wife. On the beach, they are intrigued by another couple, a much older man who spends his entire day filming his younger, beautiful wife. Later, the two men share a conversation by the swimming pool, wherein the photographer holds forth on the topics of obsession (which he refers to as adoration) and murder. It's a chilling story, well told.

No comments: