The New Yorker — fiction commentary to resume

downloadIn early 2014, I gave up my weekly “review” of the New Yorker fiction. I wasn’t loving the stories, and I received one particularly nasty comment on a post that was disheartening. Now, though, on the last day of the year, I regret that decision. Reading the New Yorker’s weekly fiction is a good way to keep up with what writers are doing, and so what if other readers don’t appreciate my comments. I’m doing it mostly for me. (No offense.)

So, I have resolved to resume my weekly commentary on the New Yorker fiction. Not only will I read and blog about each story going forward, beginning with the January 5 issue, I’ll also attempt to get caught up on the 2014 stories I missed.

I hope that these posts will attract readers who also would like to discuss these stories. I don’t like being called names, but I look forward to hearing what you all have to say.

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  1. Hi Cliff,
    I don’t read the New Yorker but glad you’re resuming the commentary. Don’t give nasty comments another thought. As for books read this year my list is short, but one was your “What the Zhand Boys Know.” I really enjoyed it.

  2. I gave up on the new yorker years ago, Cliff, when I never found anything close to what I liked to read, but I respect TNY for all that money they spend and some of the fiction they pubbed years ago. Chris Tilghman, I wish you were still appearing in TNY! I’ll try to come here and argue (politely) with you sometimes, Cliff. How’s that?

    1. I hear you, Rusty. For me, I end up wading through the 50+ stories they publish every year to find a few that I like. But it’s a bellweather for contemporary fiction, I’m afraid, and a quarter of the stories in BASS 2014 are from TNY (which is one of my complaints about BASS). But maybe there’s hope. As part of my effort to catch up, I just read a TC Boyle story from last March that I actually liked!

  3. Hi Cliff: I, too, am glad to see you posting about TNY again. I’ve had to stop reading, let alone blogging, the stories due to time constraints (and I’ll admit, I was annoyed by so many novel excerpts) but but it’s always fun to see what others have to say.

    Nasty comments? Hey, some people spend their lives working for justice and equality and (literary and other) excellence, and some spend their lives thinking up nasty things to say on the internet. I hope you won’t let it deter you.

  4. I enjoy a good honest discussion of literature – be it in work published in the New Yorker or elsewhere. That’s one thing I like a great deal about you, Cliff. You’re not afraid to say you didn’t like something. As a writer, I don’t expect everyone to like my work. Nor do I expect to like what others like, or dislike what others disliked. It’s a big world. Lots of people. Lots of taste. Plenty of room in the house of fiction.

  5. I’m glad you’re back. My own reading of New Yorker stories has suffered this past year cause I wasn’t able to check in with what you thought. You should do it for yourself , but never suppose no one out there isn’t silently benefiting from it.

  6. Among my literary resolutions, I too am vowing to read more TNY stories at a higher frequency. Perhaps participation on this site will encourage me to actually do so! I convinced my school to get a subscription a couple years ago, and they just send them down to my classroom! Score 🙂

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