The third installment of a new column on New Yorker fiction, past and present, by writer and editor Benjamin Chambers.
A couple of weeks ago, I rashly declared that John Updike had to be the record-holder when it came to publishing the most short stories in The New Yorker. Should’ve known better than to venture so boldly into speculation: as it happens, The New Yorker’s librarians, Jon Michaud and Erin Overbey, covered this for Emdashes a while back in “Ask the Librarians,” and it turns out that James Thurber and S.J. Perelman are the neck-and-neck front-runners by far. Despite his prodigious output, Updike isn’t even in the top three—he comes in sixth.
Here’s the librarians’ list. Each author is followed by the number of short stories he published in The New Yorker during his career (or to date):
1. James Thurber—273
2. S.J. Perelman—272
3. John O’Hara—227
4. Frank Sullivan—192
5. E.B. White—183
6. John Updike—168
Now, there’s a reading list! (Albeit an all-male one.)
Thanks, Emily (and Erin and Jon), for setting me straight!
Hello! I’m Emily Gordon, a content strategist, critic, and copywriter. Emdashes, born in 2004, spent its formative years as a New Yorker fan blog. (The project garnered some nice compliments and press.) It’s now a collection of conversations—generally civilized—about punctuation, magazines, movies, design, and other things that stir me.
Over the years, I’ve worked with a small army of culture writers, editors, and artists. You can read all about the people who've helped build Emdashes here at “Who We?” (That’s a New Yorker joke. Old habits die hard.)
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