Saturday, December 22, 2007

New Yorker stories

Well, The New Yorker's winter fiction issue has finally arrived in my mailbox, which means I can close the books on a side project of mine: an index of fiction published in The New Yorker in 2007.

Why, you say? Well, more than anything else, I've guesstimated in the past how many stories The New Yorker publishes in a year, and I wanted an actual count. Turns out that my off-the-cuff estimate of 50-60 stories per year was pretty close. (I also did an informal survey of the proportion of male to female writers back in 2004, so I was interested to see whether that had changed—in short, it hasn't.)

Overall, I'm beginning to see why people get frustrated with "the New Yorker story." While nearly all of these stories were excellent, they're pretty consistent in form and method. If you're looking for experimentalism or fireworks, for the most part you should be looking elsewhere.

If I've noticed one advantage to keeping up with the fiction in The New Yorker, it's that it keeps you up-to-date with the new novels: The DeLillo, Johnson, and McEwan stories are all excerpts from The Falling Man, Tree of Smoke, and On Chesil Beach, respectively. (It's certainly possible that there are others that I've missed.)

Also, as good as Roddy Doyle and William Trevor are, I'm getting sick of them.

Adiche, Chiamanda Ngozi. "Cell One." 29-Jan.
Biller, Maxim. "The Mahogany Elephant." 2-Jul.
Biller, Maxim. "The Maserati Years." 24-Sep.
Bolaño, Roberto. "Álvaro Rousselot's Journey." 26-Nov.
Bolaño, Roberto. "The Insufferable Gaucho." 1-Oct.
Boyle, T. Coraghessan. "Sin Dolor." 15-Oct.
Burnside, John. "The Cold Outside." 29-Oct.
Burnside, John. "Something Like Happy." 23-Apr.
Cooper, T. "Swimming." 20-Aug.
DeLillo, Don. "Still-Life." 9-Apr.
Díaz, Junot. "Wildwood." 11-Jun/18-Jun.
Doyle, Roddy. "The Dog." 5-Nov.
Doyle, Roddy. "Teaching." 2-Apr.
Duras, Marguerite. "The Bible." 25-Dec/1-Jan.
Duras, Marguerite. "The Stolen Pigeons." 16-Apr.
Dybek, Stuart. "If I Vanished." 9-Jul/16-Jul.
Egan, Jennifer. "Found Objects." 10-Dec.
Erdrich, Louise. "Demolition." 25-Dec/1-Jan.
Gordimer, Nadine. "A Beneficiary." 21-May.
Hadley, Tessa. "Married Love." 8-Oct.
Hadley, Tessa. "The Swan." 19-Feb/26-Feb.
Johnson, Denis. "1966." 11-Jun/18-Jun.
July, Miranda. "Roy Spivey." 11-Jun/18-Jun.
Kennedy, A. L. "Wasps." 30-Jul.
Kharms, Daniil. "So It Is in Life." 6-Aug.
Kim, David Hoon. "Sweatheart Sorrow." 11-Jun/18-Jun.
Kunzru, Hari. "Magda Mandela." 13-Aug.
Lethem, Jonathan. "The King of Sentences." 17-Dec.
Lethem, Jonathan. "Lucky Alan." 19-Mar.
Levi, Primo. "Bear Meat." 8-Jan.
Levi, Primo. "A Tranquil Star." 9-Feb.
Mattison, Alice. "Brooklyn Circle." 12-Nov.
McEwan, Ian. "On Chesil Beach." 25-Dec/1-Jan.
Milhauser, Steven. "History of a Disturbance." 5-Mar.
Mueenuddin, Daniyal. "Nawawbdin Electrcian." 27-Aug.
Nelson, Antonya. "Or Else." 19-Nov.
Nelson, Antonya. "Shauntrelle." 23-Jul.
Oz, Amos. "Heirs." 22-Jan.
Platonov, Andrei. "Among Animals and Plants." 22-Oct.
Rayner, Richard. "After the Movie." 30-Apr.
Saunders, George. "Puppy." 28-May.
Silver, Marissa. "The Visitor." 3-Dec.
Simpson, Helen. "Homework." 25-Jun.
Smith, Zadie. "Hanwell Senior." 14-May.
Theroux, Paul. "Mr. Bones." 17-Sep.
Theroux, Paul. "Monkey Hill." 25-Dec/1-Jan.
Tóibín, Colm. "One Minus One." 7-May.
Tolstaya, Tatyana. "See the Other Side." 12-Mar.
Trevor, William. "Bravado." 15-Jan.
Trevor, William. "Faith." 4-Jun.
Vapnyar, Lara. "Luda and Milena." 3-Sep/10-Sep.
Walbert, Kate. "Playdate." 26-Mar.
Wallace, David Foster. "Good People." 5-Feb.

53 stories by 42 writers.
19 stories by female authors (36%).
12 stories in translation (23%).
8 posthumously published stories (15%).
2 stories by unpublished writers (4%).

By the way, in case anyone is interested, I read 52 of the 53 stories. $5 to the first person who guesses which one I didn't read. Post guesses in the comments, one guess per person. Contest ends Jan. 1, 2008 at 12:01 a.m.


Andrew said...

I'm guessing you didn't read the David Foster Wallace story.

Gavin said...

Nope, I read the DFW. Sure, a few of the stories in Brief Interviews with Hideous Men, were, well, not my cup of tea, but several of them were wonderful.

Terry said...

I'm going to have to go with Zadie Smith.

Andrew said...

Alas. At least I had half-hearted reason for that guess. Anything else would have been a shot in the dark.

Have you heard that there's a film adaptation of Brief Interviews in the works? John Krasinski of The Office is writer/director.

Gavin said...

Nope, I did read the Zadie Smith too. I haven't read White Teeth yet, but I really enjoyed On Beauty.

I have heard that Krasinski was attached to a Brief Interviews adaptation, but not much else. Is it going to be based on just the "interview" sections of the book?

Gavin said...

Well, I guess that I get to keep my money. The unread story was the Paul Theroux from January. (Too long, and I rarely read everything from the fiction issues.)