The New Yorker Book Of The 40s

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I’ve just discovered this captivating and beautifully illustrated book. Have you heard of it? It’s a collection of essays from The New Yorker archives which represents a fascinating decade of change, and also a time many critics say the magazine came of age. Divided into seven sections – The War, American Scenes, Postwar, Character Studies: cinema, books, theatre, art and architecture, musical events, feminine fashions, Poetry and Fiction – it offers 700 pages packed with pieces of reportage, reviews of books, movies and short stories, by some of the 20th century’s greatest artists including Nabokov, EB White, and Orwell to name a few.

One of my favourite essays is AJ Leibling’s ‘Cross-Channel Trip (On D Day)’ in Part One: The War. I love the immediacy of the writing which takes me straight into the action and into the landing crafts as they approach the beaches in Normandy under heavy fire. At the same time, I can’t quite believe what I’m reading.

Just as important as the choice of essays, are the beautiful illustrations by Italian visual artist, Simone Massoni, which really capture the essence of this collection and the age it reflects.

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Have you read it? What was your favourite essay?

You can buy the book, here and find out more about Simone and his work for The New Yorker, here.

(Photos via Simone Massoni)

3 Comments

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