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Emdashes Holiday Contest: Give a Gift, Maybe Get a Book!

Filed under: Letters & Challenges   Tagged: , , , , ,

In this recessionary holiday season, a good many people are regrettably obliged to give fewer (or less overtly dazzling) gifts. We at Emdashes would like to help you express your inherent generosity (it is a fact that all Emdashes readers are generous and good-looking), if in virtual mode. And you might even get something in return: The person who submits the cleverest entry will receive a copy of Joshua Henkin's novel Matrimony.

I have not yet read it, but it's on my wish list (of the mind, not on Amazon). Attentive Emdashes readers (all Emdashes readers also possessing superior powers of recollection) will recall that I have been mightily impressed by Henkin's blogging style at The Elegant Variation, and I feel confident that he writes good novels as well.

All you have to do is dream up a holiday present for a well-known New Yorker-related personality from the past or present. You can give Harold Ross a comb, Shirley Jackson a rock-proof vest, or George Saunders his own branch of Madame Tussaud's populated only by statues of waxy Russian novelists (who animatronically recite their works at length). The possibilities are limitless! Each entry should consist of a person, a gift, and a brief (emphasis on the word brief) explanation; if you think the gift alone is amusing enough, you are permitted to dispense with the explanation. Feel free to submit gifts to multiple people; the more the merrier!

Longtime readers—i.e., all Emdashes readers—will recall a Valentine's post from 2007 along the same lines; feel free to use as inspiration.

The deadline is January 9 (that's a Friday). Send your submissions to martin@emdashes.com.

Good luck to all entrants!


Wonderful idea! I would get S. J. Perelman a myna bird to keep his other myna bird, Tong Hua, company at all times. Perelman loved his myna birds.

I would give John McPhee a piece of toast with shad semen on it, and a lemon to squeeze over it. Packaging this treat so that it arrives fresh could be a challenge. Maybe if Remnick let me in The New Yorker cafeteria, I could whip it up and take it to McPhee’s office personally.

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