The Stacks Chat: Chip Brown

Alex Belth Esquire Classic, 2016 Chip Brown has long been one of the finest magazine writers we have. An exacting reporter and a deft stylist, Brown began under the tutelage of David Maraniss and Bob Woodward at The Washington Post and flourished as feature writer for...

The Summer in the City Game

With all due respect to the national pastime, summer is also time for hoops, especially of the pick-up variety. Of course, in the realm of basketball literature there is a whole rich subsection of writing devoted to the street game. We’ve got a couple few gems for...

The Stacks Chat: James McMullan

New York magazine is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year and they really pulled out all the stops with this big, fat, sexy coffee table book. It’s really well done and so worth having. Some of New York’s most famous stories are in there, including Nik Cohn’s...

“Literature Isn’t a Moral Beauty Contest”

Philip Roth died a few days ago at the age of 85. My favorite tribute comes from Zadie Smith in The New Yorker: He was a writer all the way down. It was not diluted with other things as it is—mercifully!—for the rest of us. He was writing taken neat, and everything he...

Don’t Look Now

Down at the School of Visual Arts archive they’ve got a tidy selection of James McMullan’s magazine work from the Sixties through the Eighties. I love this one, a cover for New West magazine circa 1979. In his wonderful book, Revealing Illustrations, McMullan said:...

The Old Man and the Mule

Here is a good story from Second Wind: Memoirs of an Opinonated Man by Bill Russell with the historian Taylor Branch (1979, Random House; currently out-of-print). It’s about Russell’s grandfather and his mule, Kate. Russell’s family was from Monroe, La., and he lived...

Remember the Rhythm

Dig this—from Whitney Balliett’s book American Musicians: Fifty-Six Portraits in Jazz: The Cape Cod pianist Marie Marcus came to New York from Boston to do a radio show in 1932, when she was eighteen. Her experience had been limited to Boston radio shows and to...