A Suspense Novelist’s Trail of Deceptions

A profile of a scam artist: Before Dan Mallory wrote a New York Times best-selling novel, he rose through the ranks of the publishing industry by creating a series of fabrications about his life and deceiving colleagues.

Author: Ian Parker
Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 4, 2019
Length: 47 minutes (11,957 words)

The Shape of Things to Come

A profile of Apple designer Jonathan Ive.

Author: Ian Parker
Source: The New Yorker
Published: Feb 16, 2015
Length: 66 minutes (16,540 words)

The Big Sleep

With suvorexant, Merck thinks it has created a better sleeping pill—one that could supplant Ambien as the drug of choice for insomniacs. But getting it to market is a long slog, and then there’s the question of dosage:

The committee was asked to vote on the question: Would a ten-milligram dose require additional studies before it could be approved by the F.D.A.? It voted no. Paul Rosenberg, a psychiatrist at Johns Hopkins, said, “I’m convinced that it maybe works.” Clancy said, “I feel like I’m stuck in an old episode of ‘The Twilight Zone.’ The company’s arguing their drug doesn’t work, and the F.D.A. is arguing, ‘Yes, it does.’ ” He said that he needed a sleeping pill.

Author: Ian Parker
Source: The New Yorker
Published: Dec 2, 2013
Length: 42 minutes (10,598 words)

Mugglemarch

Following the massive success of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling has written a novel for adults, The Casual Vacancy:

“Rowling told me, ‘Very recently, I met a girl in a shop. She was in her early twenties, and she came up to me and said, “May I hug you?” And I said yes, and we hugged. And she said, “You were my childhood.” That’s an amazing thing to hear.’

“Some people find this disheartening. In Edinburgh, I met Alan Taylor, a journalist and the editor of the Scottish Review of Books, who despaired of Rowling’s ‘tin ear’ and said of her readers, ‘They were giving their childhood to this woman! They were starting at seven, and by the time they were sixteen they were still reading bloody Harry Potter—sixteen-year-olds, wearing wizard outfits, who should have been shagging behind the bike shed and smoking marijuana and reading Camus.'”

Author: Ian Parker
Source: The New Yorker
Published: Sep 24, 2012
Length: 37 minutes (9,343 words)

The Story of a Suicide

On the death of Tyler Clementi, a gay Rutgers student, and the charges against his roommate, Dharun Ravi, who used a webcam to spy on him. Clementi took his own life shortly after the incident:

“An online video chat, using an application like iChat or Skype, starts like a phone call: one person requests a conversation, and the recipient must accept the request. But Ravi had tweaked his iChat settings so that the program could automatically accept incoming calls. According to Ravi, he had made this his computer’s usual setting. Whatever the case, that evening the program was set to auto-accept; he also turned off his monitor, or darkened it to black. At 9:13 P.M., he was beside Wei at her computer. He opened iChat, and clicked his name on her chat list. A few feet away, his computer accepted his request, and Ravi and Wei saw a live video image of Room 30.”

Author: Ian Parker
Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jan 30, 2012
Length: 50 minutes (12,741 words)

Why Me? Alec Baldwin’s Disappointment, Undimmed by Success

“In East Hampton, I’m a nudist and I eat meat,” Baldwin—a vegetarian—had said before my visit, expanding on the idea that he lived a quite different life on Long Island than he did in New York. “I shoot deer with a bow and arrow. I smoke the deer meat and eat it every morning with my eggs and toast. I am a homosexual. I listen to rock music, loud.”

Author: Ian Parker
Source: The New Yorker
Published: Sep 8, 2008
Length: 32 minutes (8,204 words)