HARPER’S MAGAZINE, the oldest general interest monthly in America, explores the issues that drive our national conversation through such celebrated features as Readings, Annotation, and Findings, as well as the iconic Harper’s Index.
EASY CHAIR • Under the Surface
THE LICENTIATE’S CHILDREN • By Juan Gabriel Vásquez, from a speech published in the book El arte de la distorsión. Vásquez is the author, most recently, of the story collection Songs for the Flames. Translated from the Spanish by Phil Klay.
WRITING WRONGS • From prompts in 642 Things to Write About, a book distributed to seniors at Hudson High School in Hudson, Ohio. In September, after parents complained that the book asked students to write about sex and beer, the mayor called for the city’s school board members to resign.
CLAUS AND EFFECT • From the 2021 Red Suit Survey, which polled hundreds of professional Santas in the United States.
BUILT TO SPILL • From a conversation about Afghanistan between the Iranian writers Salar Abdoh and Mohammad Hossein Jafarian, which was published in September by Guernica.
STILL LIFE • By Christopher Spencer, an artist and inmate on death row at San Quentin State Prison in California. Spencer created this replica of his cell out of card stock and sold it on Etsy.
BUY THE NUMBERS • By Colette Brooks, from Trapped in the Present Tense, which will be published next month by Counterpoint Press.
KIDS SAY THE DARNDEST THINGS • From a conversation between Olaf Scholz and two eleven-year-olds, Pauline and Romeo, who were interviewing candidates for chancellor of Germany. The exchange aired in September on Late Night Berlin. Scholz is a member of the Social Democratic Party, which won the most seats in Germany’s recent election. Translated from the German by Natascha Hoffmeyer.
KILLING TIME • By Lise Funderburg, from an essay that appeared in the Fall 2021 issue of The Threepenny Review.
NAKED AS WE CAME • By Miriam Toews, from Fight Night, a novel, which was published in October by Bloomsbury.
ANGEL • By Rae Armantrout, from Issue 14 of Lana Turner.
A POSTHUMOUS SHOCK • How everything became trauma
TO SPITE HIS FACE • What happened to Cecil Rhodes’s nose?
THE ODOR OF THINGS • Solving the mysteries of scent
DIVINE LOGIC • Kurt Gödel’s last proof
HER KIND • On losing and finding my mind
SONG OF THE ANDOUMBOULOU: 292 1/2
“America’s MOST INTERESTING MAGAZINE ˮ* HARPER’S
DESPERATELY SEEKING SEBALD • A writer’s quest
THEME AND VARIATIONS