…”Gone: The Last Days of The New Yorker,” by Renata Adler. I have been going through a period of intense interest in and admiration of Adler when, in reading a career-spanning collection of selections of her non-fiction, I came across a piece she’d written in response to criticism of “Gone” and realized I hadn’t read it. So I stopped reading the collection and bought “Gone.”
“Gone” is not great Adler. It is about the firing of “The New Yorker”‘s long-time editor, William Shawn, whom Adler, within limits, supported. While her book is critical of the firing, it is also critical of two books by other supporters of Shawn, Ved Mehta and Lillian Ross. With this out of the way, it settles down to a more generalized, undocumented and unauthenticated who-did-and-said-what score-settling. It is replete with, to my mind, unsubstantiated but perhaps correct judgments about “The New Yorker”‘s decline.
And, boy, does she dislike Adam Gopnik.