“The Biographer’s Hat”
by Cynthia Ozick
from the March 14, 2022 issue of The New Yorker

Yay! More Cynthia Ozick! Ozick will turn 94 next month, but she is still getting new work out! Last year, one of my favorite books was her short novel Antiquities. Then, a few months later, we got a story in The New Yorker called “The Coast of New Zealand.” I really thought that might be the last, but here we are! And this looks like a lot of fun.

When the biographer of Emanuel Teller came to see me, he left behind his hat. It was the kind of hat a gaucho would wear, flat on top, wide-brimmed, but without the strings that tie under the chin. It was a very dark green, soft and fuzzy to the touch. It seemed familiar. I thought I knew that hat. As the biographer trotted down the stairs to the waiting taxi, I called out, “Hey! You forgot your hat!”

He didn’t hear me; the driver was leaning on his horn.

I picked up the hat. It looked exactly like Emanuel Teller’s hat in his photos.

In her interview with The New Yorker, Ozick talks about con men, so there’s something amiss here!

I have been loving the fiction The New Yorker has been publishing lately, and this is probably the one I’m most excited about. Please feel free to share your thoughts below!

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