One of art’s purest
challenges is to translate a human being into words. The New Yorker has met this challenge more successfully and more
originally than any other modern American journal. It has indelibly shaped the
genre known as the profile. Starting with light-fantastic evocations of
glamorous and idiosyncratic figures of the twenties and thirties, such as Henry
Luce and Isadora Duncan, and continuing to the present, with complex pictures
of such contemporaries as Mikhail Baryshnikov and Richard Pryor, this
collection of New Yorker profiles
presents readers with a portrait gallery of some of the most prominent figures
of the twentieth century. These profiles are literary-journalistic
investigations into character and accomplishment, motive and madness, beauty
and ugliness, and are unrivalled in their range, their variety of style, and
their embrace of humanity.
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