As I noted in a previous post, when I subscribed to the NYRB Book Club it came with a free subscription to The Paris Review. Though I’ve read stories from this rag in the past, I’ve never sat down and read an entire issue from soup to nuts. I was pleasantly surprised by the content.
I’ve subscribed to a few other literary magazines in the past (Tin House and the Iowa Review) and they were as expected – I liked a few stories, didn’t care much about most of them, and actively disliked a few. This wasn’t the case with The Paris Review.
This issue included four pieces of fiction, three interviews, work from eight poets (most had more than one poem), and a portfolio from one artist. I actually read it in Paris (fancy, I know) because I happened to be on a 20-hour layover there a week or so after I got my copy. So I sat in a coffee shop, er, cafe bar, and drank cappuccinos and read it. When I read future issues I’ll be sure to have my Sharpies and flags nearby so I can share more than my general impressions, but I’m glad I read this one the way I did and where I did.
While I can’t get more specific than that (I read it three weeks ago), I will do a breakdown of how many white folks appeared in this issue versus people of color, because that’s just what I do.
Fiction: 2/4 written by women; 2/4 written by authors of color.
Interviews: 2/3 of the people interviewed were people of color; 1/3 were women.
Poetry: 0/8 of the poets were people of color; 2/8 were women.
The portfolio in the issue was done by a white women and the topic was “East Harlem Portraits.”