The first time I remember encountering Renata Adler, she was mid-skirmish in the pages of Harper’s Magazine. It was the year 2000. She had just published a book called Gone: The Last Days of the New Yorker and apparently everyone in New York was angry with her. The New York Times, she reported, had published no fewer than eight pieces rebutting the book. She wrote of it as “institutional carpet bombing.” Never one to shy from drama, I was intrigued. That said, for a person like me, from the provinces (read: Canada), much of the piece was impenetrable. I didn’t live among people who tracked bylines, let alone mastheads. No one I knew had opinions about which regime at The New Yorker was best. The idea that a magazine could so closely resemble a soap opera, or perhaps a Roman epic—fiefdoms and rivalries and hard-set preferences for umlauts that would shape generations of readers and writers—still counted as a This story is from Kinfolk Issue Thirty-Seven Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 19 Going Incognito We all secretly wonder what mischief we’d make if invisible: When our identity is hidden, everything seems possible. Arts & Culture Issue 19 The Best Policy Sometimes we talk to each other without feeling heard. Honesty—a most intimate interaction—can be just as thrilling as its more devious inverse. Arts & Culture Issue 19 A Sense of Suspense With unhinged imaginations and mountains of cliff-hangers, the filmmakers behind the sci-fi podcast Limetown have all the makings of a scary story. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Like Clockwork In this new column about time, we learn how slipping off our watches makes us feel like deadline-damning renegades. Arts & Culture Music Issue 19 On a Grander Scale Malaysian singer-songwriter Yuna now may live on the opposite side of the globe, but she’s determined to evolve while staying true to her roots. Arts & Culture Issue 19 Neighborhood: Fire Stations The firefighting profession has evolved over time from Ancient Rome’s rudimentary bucket brigades to today’s sleek life-saving departments.