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 Films Music Issue 42 Peer Review Iranian artist and filmmaker Shirin Neshat pays homage to the iconic Egyptian singer Oum Kulthum. Arts & Culture Issue 41 Peer Review Curator Alya Al-Mulla shares the legacy of Algerian artist Baya Mahieddine. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Archive: Jean Stein Annick Weber chronicles the life of one of New York’s great storytellers. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Susanna Moore The sharp-eyed writer on high society and her supermodel past. Arts & Culture Issue 38 Peer Review Andrew Durbin, editor of frieze magazine, on the magnetic allure of writer and photographer Hervé Guibert. Arts & Culture Issue 37 Anne Tyler The author of sprawling family dramas on her own epic half-century of writing.