Emdashes—Modern Times Between the Lines

The Basics:
About Emdashes | Email us

Before it moved to The New Yorker:
Ask the Librarians

Best of Emdashes: Hit Parade
A Web Comic: The Wavy Rule


I’m not ashamed to admit it’s been an emotional week. I covered the New Yorker Festival for the fourth year in a row (the first year, I reported on numerous events for Beatrice, whose editor, Ron Hogan, was one of the first believers in this site). As I sat in the audience for one excellent production after another—as you may have observed from my posts to our group Twitter feed experiment, I was particularly moved by the Town Hall on race and class and the beatific Lynda Barry—I also felt wrung out.

I’ve been an unshakeable admirer of The New Yorker since I first became aware of it on my parents’ coffee table, my grandparents’ bookshelves, and the walls around me. (I even published a poem about it once, when I was trying to combine journalism and poetry, a risky combination that my former Nation colleague Bruce Shapiro used to warn me about.) And I’ll always be dedicated to it: to promoting its contents, verbal and visual; to celebrating its staff and contributors, past and present; to reading it weekly, to providing it for others; to its standards, values, morals, traditions, and style. I’ve enjoyed writing about various aspects of the magazine and its contributors for other publications, including, of course, Print, of which I am now editor-in-chief and which deserves all my tender loving care. I’m also working on a book whose subjects include some vital and oft-overloked New Yorker players, so perhaps we’ll see that on our Kindles someday.

It’s hard not to be grandiose about something that has meant so much to me for nearly four years; after all, we’re just another blog in the hysterical hive that online reading has become. It surely means more to me than to anyone else that as of today, I am stepping down as the editor of the first publication I have ever created, art-directed, and overseen in its entirety from the first day of its existence.

Fortunately, I have some very good news, for me as well as for you. Martin Schneider has been writing for Emdashes, and doing double duty as part-time editor, for almost exactly two years. Especially considering that he has never seen a dime from his fine work for me (the site has never made a ha’penny), he’s been a consistent, sustaining, and invigorating presence both on Emdashes and, often from afar, in my life. He’s helped me bring in and shape the work of other writers and artists, and has long been a wonderful colllaborator in every way. He is a keen reader of The New Yorker as well, and has done many fascinating explorations into the Complete New Yorker archive; he’s a thorough and responsible reporter who’s worked at Brill’s Content, among other publications; he’s a serious reader of literature and history (and is now a university-press book editor for a living, so he gets to see some meaty stuff before we do); he’s a discerning consumer of pop culture, from music to comedy; he’s a bird-watcher; and he lives in a remote village in Austria, so he has an enviably healthy perspective on all things media and New York City.

So let’s welcome Martin as editor of Emdashes—which more than one wit has suggested we rename “M-Dashes,” or, in one case, “Mendashes”—and you’ll see me around. I’ll continue as publisher and tester of the remarkable patience of our brilliant site designers at House of Pretty in Chicago; I’ll enjoy the pleasure of editing Jon Michaud and Erin Overbey’s deliciously informative column “Ask the Librarians,” to which you should continue to submit your questions; and I’ll contribute occasionally when, as the Quakers say, I am moved to speak.

Till then, I remain yours, very truly. Thank you.


Emily, thanks for all your hard work here and I’m glad we haven’t heard the last of you! Martin, congrats on your promotion. I look forward to your tenure as EiC.

How timely to have hoisted a celebratory cocktail with the great E.G. on this of all days.

Congrats, Emily, on your new editorship and on all you’ve accomplished with Emdashes. You’ve picked a worthy successor and I wish you both the best. Onward!

Congratulations, Martin! Thank you, Emily, for all the work you’ve done. You’ve put together a wonderful website and team.

Congrats to both of you, and good luck for the future of the wonderful site!

Em, you are the soul of Emdashes and we will miss you! I’m just glad the website will live on. Martin, you have some big shoes to fill!

fan out WestOctober 08, 2008

p.s. Don’t you DARE change either the name or the picture! They are legendary!

fan out WestOctober 08, 2008

oh bummer! i’ve so enjoyed popping over here now and again to catch a glimpse of you. i’ll miss that very much…

Woah, that’s a bomb dropped! But I guess it was a long time coming, and all worth it. It’s been fun contributing, myself, art-wise, when I could.

Long live Emdashes!

Congratulations to both of you! We’ll miss you bunches, Emily, but I’m sure Martin will do an excellent job. Good luck to you both!

Sarah ArkebauerOctober 09, 2008

Mazel tovs all around.

We need to sit down and have a talk, apparently! I had no idea this was coming! Let’s make a cell date. Congrats on your new position at Print!

I really appreciate it, everyone! And as you can see, I’m still hovering around the premises, like Constance Bennett and Cary Grant in Topper.

Meanwhile, all this week I’ve been reading The New Yorker—for pleasure. It’s a wondrous thing!

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