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The Big New Yorker Book of Cats

Cover of The Big New Yorker Book of Cats

The Big New Yorker Book of Cats

Look what The New Yorker dragged in! It's the purr-fect gathering of talent celebrating our feline companions. This bountiful collection, beautifully illustrated in full color, features articles, fiction, humor, poems, cartoons, cover art, drafts, and drawings from the magazine's archives. Among the contributors are Margaret Atwood, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Roald Dahl, Wolcott Gibbs, Robert Graves, Emily Hahn, Ted Hughes, Jamaica Kincaid, Steven Millhauser, Haruki Murakami, Amy Ozols, Robert Pinsky, Jean Rhys, James Thurber, John Updike, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and E. B. White. Including a Foreword by Anthony Lane, this gorgeous keepsake will be a treasured gift for all cat lovers.

Look what The New Yorker dragged in! It's the purr-fect gathering of talent celebrating our feline companions. This bountiful collection, beautifully illustrated in full color, features articles, fiction, humor, poems, cartoons, cover art, drafts, and drawings from the magazine's archives. Among the contributors are Margaret Atwood, T. Coraghessan Boyle, Roald Dahl, Wolcott Gibbs, Robert Graves, Emily Hahn, Ted Hughes, Jamaica Kincaid, Steven Millhauser, Haruki Murakami, Amy Ozols, Robert Pinsky, Jean Rhys, James Thurber, John Updike, Sylvia Townsend Warner, and E. B. White. Including a Foreword by Anthony Lane, this gorgeous keepsake will be a treasured gift for all cat lovers.

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Excerpts-
  • Chapter 1

    DEATH OF A FAVORITE

    Fiction

    J. F. POWERS

    I had spent most of the afternoon mousing--a matter of sport with me and certainly not of diet--in the sunburnt fields that begin at our back door and continue hundreds of miles into the Dakotas. I gradually gave up the idea of hunting, the grasshoppers convincing me that there was no percentage in stealth. Even to doze was difficult, under such conditions, but I must have managed it. At least I was late coming to dinner, and so my introduction to the two missionaries took place at table. They were surprised, as most visitors are, to see me take the chair at Father Malt's right.

    Father Malt, breaking off the conversation (if it could be called that), was his usual dear old self. "Fathers," he said, "meet Fritz."

    I gave the newcomers the first good look that invariably tells me whether or not a person cares for cats. The mean old buck in charge of the team did not like me, I could see, and would bear watching. The other one obviously did like me, but he did not appear to be long enough from the seminary to matter. I felt that I had broken something less than even here.

    "My assistant," said Father Malt, meaning me, and thus unconsciously dealing out our fat friend at the other end of the table. Poor Burner! There was a time when, thinking of him, as I did now, as the enemy, I could have convinced myself I meant something else. But he is the enemy, and I was right from the beginning, when it could only have been instinct that told me how much he hated me even while trying (in his fashion!) to be friendly. (I believe his prejudice to be acquired rather than congenital, and very likely, at this stage, confined

    to me, not to cats as a class--there is that in his favor. I intend to be fair about this if it kills me.)

    My observations of humanity incline me to believe that one of us--Burner or I--must ultimately prevail over the other. For myself, I should not fear if this were a battle to be won on the solid ground of Father Malt's affections. But the old man grows older, the grave beckons to him ahead, and with Burner pushing him from behind, how long can he last? Which is to say: How long can I last? Unfortunately, it is naked power that counts most in any rectory, and as things stand now, I am safe only so long as Father Malt retains it here. Could I--this impossible thought is often with me now--could I effect a reconciliation and alliance with Father Burner? Impossible! Yes, doubtless. But the question better asked is: How impossible? (Lord knows I would not inflict this line of reasoning upon myself if I did not hold with the rumors that Father Burner will be the one to succeed to the pastorate.) For I do like it here. It is not at all in my nature to forgive and forget, certainly not as regards Father Burner, but it is in my nature to come to terms (much as nations do) when necessary, and in this solution there need not be a drop of good will. No dog can make that statement, or take the consequences, which I understand are most serious, in the world to come. Shifts and ententes. There is something fatal about the vocation of favorite, but it is the only one that suits me, and, all things considered--to dig I am not able, to beg I am ashamed--the rewards are adequate.

    "We go through Chicago all the time," said the boss missionary, who seemed to be returning to a point he had reached when I entered. I knew Father Malt would be off that evening for a convention in Chicago. The missionaries, who would fill in for him and conduct a forty hours' devotion on the side, belonged to an order just getting started in the diocese and were anxious to make a good impression. For the...

About the Author-
  • The New Yorker began publishing in 1925.
Reviews-
  • Publisher's Weekly

    March 10, 2014
    Here comes the effervescent counterpart to 2012's Big New Yorker Book of Dogs, an anthology of short fiction, articles, photographs, and of course, cat cartoons—an unassailable gift for the cat-lover in your life. The non-fiction spans from the fanciful—a lovely little piece from the ‘80s about a cat therapist operating in Manhattan—to the bizarre—Ariel Levy's excellent 2013 piece about exotic cat fanciers—people who will pay "as much as thirty thousand dollars for the privilege of owning a hybrid that looks like it could prowl the wilderness"—like, for example, the "Savannah cat, a cross between a domestic and a serval, an African native that preys on gazelles and springbok." The book spans the entire New Yorker history, and it's interesting to see how profiles have evolved, from a whimsical piece about a chorus girl turned cat-catcher from 1938 to Susan Orlean's masterful 2002 profile "The Lady and the Tigers," about a woman who owned up to two dozen tigers in Jackson Township, New Jersey. Readers will also enjoy a short story from Haruki Murakami, "Town of Cats" as well as fiction from John Updike, and Jean Rhys. Here is the rare coffee table book that is also a pleasure to read.

  • Kirkus Reviews

    "The Book of Cats comes a year after The Big New Yorker Book of Dogs--a publishing slight that, though it stings, I'll forgive, as the latest anthology was worth the wait. . . . Two standout articles feature real-life obsessives of ages past who reveal today's Caturnet devotees--with their GIFs and Tumblrs and hastily aggregated listicles--for what they truly are: amateurs. . . . Eat your heart out, Cute Overload."--The New York Times Book Review "A beautiful hardcover."--Jenny McCarthy, People "This irresistible anthology of articles, poems, essays, fiction, cartoons, and covers pulled from the New Yorker is a veritable treasure trove for cat lovers. Just dive right in; with stories from the likes of John Updike, Maeve Brennan, Roald Dalhl, and Haruki Murakami interwoven with hilariously wry cartoons, one can't help but be enthralled. A must-have."--Modern Cat "A shiny, well-fed tome . . . The anthology embodies the cat's defining characteristic: its cluster of opposites, rolled together into a giant hairball of cultural attitudes--something, perhaps, at once uncomfortably and assuringly reflective of our own chronically conflicted selves."--Brain Pickings "This gorgeous book has earned a permanent spot on my coffee table. It is an absolute joy to read and browse through, and I know it will bring me hours and hours of pleasure for years to come. And it makes a purr-fect gift for the special cat lovers in your life."--The Conscious Cat "[A] sumptuous volume."--The Dallas Morning News "One need not own cats (or do cats own their owners?) or even be a pet lover to savor this feline-focused offering."--The Sacramento Bee "[A] fun collection of short stories, articles, humor, poems, and charming color covers from the magazine's archives . . . [a] high-quality, attractive work."--Library Journal "Covers, cartoons, authors of pieces both longer and shorter, reflect current views of the feline subject in all its glory. . . . The quality, humor and variety make for another successful New Yorker collection."

  • Publishers Weekly "An eminently giftable anthology."
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