Harper's Magazine

Harper's Magazine The essays, reportage, criticism, and fiction published in Harper’s Magazine transcend the news cycle and upend conventional wisdom.

Harper's Magazine introduces readers to people and places—as near as the next state, continents away, or sprung from an author’s imagination—that are at once foreign, yet surprisingly familiar. Since the magazine’s founding in 1850, we have sought out writers who look for truth with their own eyes and relay it in their own voices. We are unconvinced by rumors about readers’ dwindling attention spans, but we know that pithiness is often passion’s best ally.

Scientists located the enzyme that makes urine yellow, a man filed a lawsuit against Dunkin’ Donuts after a toilet in on...
01/09/2024

Scientists located the enzyme that makes urine yellow, a man filed a lawsuit against Dunkin’ Donuts after a toilet in one of the chain’s Florida stores exploded on him, and a venomous snake was found in a toilet in Australia. A man in Leeds, Alabama, crashed his car outside a Bass Pro Shop, stripped naked, and then cannonballed into the store’s indoor aquarium. A man in Memphis, Tennessee, stole an Amazon truck after the driver left the vehicle to make a delivery. After a truckers’ strike resulted in fuel shortages in India, a food delivery driver completed his deliveries on horseback. “It’s been a bit of an experiment,” said a retired postal worker in Wales, who captured footage of a mouse tidying up a workbench in his garden shed. A dog in Pittsburgh ate $4,000 worth of cash his owners left out in an envelope, and a pair of dogs caused more than a quarter million dollars worth of damage to a car dealership in Houston. “I saw seven of them smashing into a car the other day,” said a Houston resident of peacocks causing damage in her neighborhood. Moose have been caught licking cars in Canada.

https://harpers.org/2024/01/weekly-review-islamic-state-israel-gaza-save-the-children-lebanon-myanmar-bomb-threats-budget-bribes-shooting-guns-harvard-mit-planes-urine-cannonball-moose/

“One constant in my peripatetic childhood was G.I. Joe. G.I. Joe is there, as the theme song went, and I loved it for th...
01/05/2024

“One constant in my peripatetic childhood was G.I. Joe. G.I. Joe is there, as the theme song went, and I loved it for that. It was a multimedia form of love—I loved the toys, the comics, the cartoon. Now you know, as the catchphrase put it, and knowing is half the battle!”

Illustration by Matt Rota

Rota

01/04/2024

"The average American girl born in 2019 will take prescription drugs for more than half her life, former members of the U.S. Special Forces with various neuropsychiatric problems experienced positive effects after taking ibogaine and 5-MeO-DMT at a clinic in Mexico, and depressed patients given either ketamine or a placebo during a routine surgery reported significant improvements."

https://harpers.org/archive/2024/01/findings-january-2024/

“One constant in my peripatetic childhood was G.I. Joe. ‘G.I. Joe is there,’ as the theme song went, and I loved it for ...
01/03/2024

“One constant in my peripatetic childhood was G.I. Joe. ‘G.I. Joe is there,’ as the theme song went, and I loved it for that. It was a multimedia form of love—I loved the toys, the comics, the cartoon. Now you know, as the catchphrase put it, ‘and knowing is half the battle!’”

When soldiers come home

Percentage change over the past decade in the number of Americans making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight : −54Perc...
01/01/2024

Percentage change over the past decade in the number of Americans making New Year’s resolutions to lose weight : −54

Percentage of Americans who have used Ozempic to lose weight : 15

Who say they know someone who has : 47

Percentage of doctors who have used Ozempic to lose weight : 14

https://harpers.org/harpers-index/

"No. 4: Celebrating Christmas," a photograph from the series The Mother as a Creator by Annie Hsiao-Ching Wang, whose wo...
12/25/2023

"No. 4: Celebrating Christmas," a photograph from the series The Mother as a Creator by Annie Hsiao-Ching Wang, whose work will be on view as part of the exhibition New Directions: Recent Acquisitions in March at the George Eastman Museum in Rochester, New York.

© The artist. Courtesy of Stephen Daiter Gallery, Chicago


“If men think about the Roman Empire all the time, they do not do it under conditions of their own making. For over twen...
12/23/2023

“If men think about the Roman Empire all the time, they do not do it under conditions of their own making. For over twenty years, men, and also women, have thought about the history of ancient Rome under conditions shaped by Mary Beard.”

On Mary Beard’s lives of the Caesars

“Schulman did not know what gender-fluid was, maybe some kind of liquid having to do with matters decent people do not d...
12/22/2023

“Schulman did not know what gender-fluid was, maybe some kind of liquid having to do with matters decent people do not discuss except with a licensed practitioner. Schul- man also did not think it was all good. From the earliest years of her life she had sat among the men and boys reciting the morning blessings, thanking God for not having made her a woman—so how could it be all good? Women were God’s afterthought.”

January 2024 Issue [Story] Basha Boosha by Tova Reich, Dodge, by Jessica Frances Grégoire Lancaster © The artist. Courtesy Shark Senesac and Trotter&Sholer, New York City [Story] Basha Boosha by Tova Reich, Adjust Share You never realize how accustomed your eye grows to a familiar variety of human...

“I was preoccupied with our culture’s competing blights of self-focus and self- alienation, and a possible synergy betwe...
12/21/2023

“I was preoccupied with our culture’s competing blights of self-focus and self- alienation, and a possible synergy between them; how easily our efforts toward perfection can turn destructive. BIID seemed the ne plus ultra of this danger, a useful metaphor for an age on the verge, one might say, of dismantling itself.”

Michelle Orange on the enigma of body integrity dysphoria

The enigma of body integrity dysphoria

“Looking at them, I thought of the walls of Herculaneum and idly speculated about what tourists, two thousand years in t...
12/20/2023

“Looking at them, I thought of the walls of Herculaneum and idly speculated about what tourists, two thousand years in the future, would think if this whole display were excavated, what conclusions about our civilization they would draw from the museum, which has more G.I. Joes than the town has residents”

When soldiers come home

“It is no longer Lenin’s arm that points to the future. Stalin is experiencing a Second Coming, his name recurring like ...
12/19/2023

“It is no longer Lenin’s arm that points to the future. Stalin is experiencing a Second Coming, his name recurring like a mantra. He even has his own namesake sausage brand. His biggest sponsor, perhaps, is Putin, who knows that by invoking him he is pulling on a magic string that will reawaken secret dreams of glory.”

From BEHIND THE NEW IRON CURTAIN Caviar, counterculture, and the cult of Stalin reborn, by Marzio G. Mian, translated from the Italian by Elettra Pauletto

Caviar, counterculture, and the cult of Stalin reborn

The January 2024 issue is out, featuring: Behind the New Iron Curtain, Caviar, Counterculture, and the Cult of Stalin Re...
12/18/2023

The January 2024 issue is out, featuring: Behind the New Iron Curtain, Caviar, Counterculture, and the Cult of Stalin Reborn; Michelle Orange on the enigma of body integrity dysphoria; The Museum of Broken G.I. Joes; S*x and Grue in Ancient Rome, on Mary Beard’s lives of the Ceasars; scenes from the life of psychedelic pioneer Andrew Weil. Read it all here.
https://harpers.org/archive/2024/01/

“It shatters me to understand how much of our behavior is just a rejoinder to an old question, like something shouted do...
12/17/2023

“It shatters me to understand how much of our behavior is just a rejoinder to an old question, like something shouted down the hall at some delay, the hall being all the time we hurried down, the shout being the noise we make once we think we’re safe.”

https://harpers.org/archive/2023/12/trapdoor/

Chances an American between 26 and 54 has not been to the doctor in the past five years : 2 in 5Percentage increase in t...
12/16/2023

Chances an American between 26 and 54 has not been to the doctor in the past five years : 2 in 5

Percentage increase in the number of Americans concerned about affording medical treatment : 47

Year in which the youngest baby boomer will become eligible for Medicare : 2030

https://harpers.org/harpers-index/

“Late at night, in a state of manic exhaustion, I’d often make anonymous edits of a different sort. I told myself it was...
12/16/2023

“Late at night, in a state of manic exhaustion, I’d often make anonymous edits of a different sort. I told myself it was research, that I was testing how a stray, strange ‘fact’ might linger, how a fake source might escape notice.I put a line in every cabinet member’s page about increasing concern that the official in question was exhibiting signs of Lewy body dementia. I suggested there was a robust debate regarding whether Edgar Allan Poe actually wrote ‘The Raven.’ I wrote that Dolly Parton was said, maybe as a result of a botched surgery, to perceive ultraviolet light. Many believed Pancho Villa’s mustache was fake. I added a line to Teddy Roosevelt’s entry that said he enjoyed bocce. I added Teddy Roosevelt to the list of bocce enthusiasts on the ‘bocce’ main page. Soon this fact appeared on the home page of the United States Bocce Federation. Then I could use that home page as the source for the claim on Wikipedia. Such edits were somewhere between childish pranks and tiny terrorist attacks on the historical record. All of these examples are fake, but can stand for the ones I made, the bedbugs I released into the linguistic furniture. It was my first attempt at writing fiction.”

Ben Lerner

https://harpers.org/archive/2023/12/the-hofmann-wobble-wikipedia-and-the-problem-of-historical-memory/

“The height of the pandemic had diseased the internet with a warty banality of white centrist think pieces about virtual...
12/14/2023

“The height of the pandemic had diseased the internet with a warty banality of white centrist think pieces about virtual office culture and virtual friendship culture and “the new normal,” but I read nothing about how it actually felt to drag a physical self through a city that seemed insistent upon its new irrelevance. Even in the sauna, which I needed to be a final bodily refuge, people were on TikTok, texting and va**ng, were wearing their gym clothes and putting their sneakers up on the wood and sniping at each other, as I seemed to hear all the time—the period of nearly socialist solidarity, the messaging on the subway directing us to protect one another, had fallen. Everyone understood, Americanly, that no one was coming to save them: it was every man for himself.”

Kathleen Alcott

https://harpers.org/archive/2023/12/trapdoor/

12/13/2023

“What are all the words for intelligence? Any serious consideration of intellectual disability begs us to defamiliarize the norm. The language for desirable neurotypicality is everywhere: bright, perceptive, quick, capable of abstract reasoning, all the words for braininess casually dropped by parents in playgroups. The people who attend Cherry Road are referred to as ‘service users’—a term no one particularly likes. They are sometimes spoken about in terms too broad or euphemistic to be meaningful: people with developmental or cognitive ‘challenges,’ or the tepid and passive ‘differently abled.’”⁠

https://harpers.org/archive/2023/12/bonnyrigg-scotland-sensory-workshop/

12/13/2023
A pig in New Jersey named Albert Einswine led the Deptford Township Police Department on a 30-minute foot chase, and a k...
12/12/2023

A pig in New Jersey named Albert Einswine led the Deptford Township Police Department on a 30-minute foot chase, and a kangaroo in Canada escaped while being transferred between zoos, hopped down a highway, evaded authorities for four days, and then punched an officer in the face.

In Rainier, Washington, a candidate for city council did not cast a ballot in his own election and then lost by one vote.

“I think of my son on the verge of adulthood, his many idiosyncratic joys so evident, and his life, my whole family’s li...
12/12/2023

“I think of my son on the verge of adulthood, his many idiosyncratic joys so evident, and his life, my whole family’s life, that will be marked by his need for support. My husband and I talk about it and make many forward-thinking decisions with this in mind.”

A sensory workshop bridges the gap

“When I used to say it was all going to be okay, Molly, all I really meant is that I love you.All language loses meaning...
12/10/2023

“When I used to say it was all going to be okay, Molly, all I really meant is that I love you.

All language loses meaning in the flames. You feel your body being burned, numb in parts and crushed in others, with no clear way to make it stop. No one else can feel what you are feeling, you imagine, and you can read that in their eyes. Even those who do care just seem to remind you there are still reasons to keep going, to hold strong, but often those reasons are all theirs, forged from their lifelines. It’s no one’s fault; it’s everyone’s fault.

I’m so sorry, Molly. I really tried. I know you tried too, as best you could. I love you forever.”

https://harpers.org/archive/2023/11/molly-blake-butler/

Archway Editions

Temperance in Eden, a painting by Autumn Nelson© The artist. Courtesy Tyger Tyger Gallery, Asheville, North Carolina
12/07/2023

Temperance in Eden, a painting by Autumn Nelson
© The artist. Courtesy Tyger Tyger Gallery, Asheville, North Carolina

“My habits as a New Yorker must have appeared to others as eccentric or narcissistic theater. I had stepped, wittingly a...
12/06/2023

“My habits as a New Yorker must have appeared to others as eccentric or narcissistic theater. I had stepped, wittingly and not, into a new image: a distraction in pale green sequins, passing out of the revolving doors of midtown buildings with the last dinosaurs of publishing, old white men who taught me how to order a martini and from whose fiction mine seemed descended as they touched my knees. I did or could not think much about why my life had to look the way it did, whether snobbery was a response to trauma, appearance a layering response to unwelcome depths.”



Walking Home with Flowers, by Claudia Keep. © The artist. Courtesy MARCH, New York City 



“An autobiographical novelist is the kind of man who would go to the funeral of somebody who had been like a father to h...
12/05/2023

“An autobiographical novelist is the kind of man who would go to the funeral of somebody who had been like a father to him, and worry all through the one-hundred-and-third Psalm because he has absentmindedly worn brown shoes with a black suit. ‘As for man,’ the minister says solemnly, ‘his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he flourisheth. / For the wind passeth over it, and it is gone. And the place thereof shall know it no more…’ The novelist has heard him, all right. But were people staring at his shoes?”

William Maxwell

https://harpers.org/archive/2023/12/novel-gazing/

From “The Impulse Toward Autobiographical Fiction,” a 1963 lecture that is being published for the first time in the collection The Writer as Illusionist, edited and introduced by Alec Wilkinson, out next month from Godine.

Address

New York, NY

Alerts

Be the first to know and let us send you an email when Harper's Magazine posts news and promotions. Your email address will not be used for any other purpose, and you can unsubscribe at any time.

Share

Category