There was. In the years since that first issue, The New York Review of Books has become a magazine like few others, combining rangy, long-form reviews with analytical reporting, patient cultural reassessments, and an eye for criticism at the studious perimeter of the zeitgeist. The Review publishes academics more copiously than a lot of newsstand publications, but its intended audience is general more than scholarly; it holds a cherished place near the upward-striving center of New York cultural life. A Martin Scorsese documentary couldn’t be far behind.
On January 15–16, 2016, The New York Review of Books, along with the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Hong Kong and Fritt Ord, held an international conference to discuss the development of Chinese political economy and the role of governance within it. This panel, chaired by Simon Head of the University of Oxford and The New York Review of Books Foundation, featured remarks by Richard Hu of the University of Hong Kong, Li Zhaojie of Tsinghua University, and journalist Ian Johnson.
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But the offense may have been less literary than coastal. Seidel, who lives in New York, wrote that “the novel too often sounds like the stylized voice-over narration of film noir, sardonic, self-conscious, very American, the sound of Dashiell Hammett, Raymond Chandler, Fred MacMurray in Double Indemnity”—California references, all. There is nothing quite so explicitly regional in Miriello’s rebuttal, but consider that he’s responding in the Los Angeles Review of Books to a New York-based poet writing in the New York Review of Books about an L.A.-based novelist's latest book, which, though for large stretches based in New York, undeniably crackles—particularly in scenes based in the Nevada desert—with the western flair of an Ed Ruscha work. (Both Kushner and NYRB editor Bob Silvers are traveling and couldn’t comment.)