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


Five years ago today, I sat in the appropriately named Williamsburg bar The Lucky Cat (now Bruar Falls), enjoying tea and free wifi, and began this blog. One was far from a lonely number; from the beginning, Emdashes had friends, commenters (though as a readership, dear readership, you tend to be shy, preferring to send me thoughtfully composed emails rather than shout to the public square), supporters, and exactly one member of the peanut gallery, whose small legumes haven’t scarred.

But Emdashes today is a lot more than a gal in a bar feeling warm toward a heartbreakingly flawless Donald Antrim essay. It’s an honest-to-Irvin team, a clan of kindred spirits, a gathering place for like-minded New Yorker-philes for whom a casual read and a quick look will never be enough. It’s the blog’s core group of friends and collaborators, Martin Schneider and Pollux and Jonathan Taylor and Benjamin Chambers, about whom I can’t say enough, and I hope they know how thoroughly I treasure their winsome and steady posts, essential ideas, and intercontinental companionship. It’s the many excellent guest writers and artists, and smart and generous interns, who’ve contributed to the blog over the past five years.

I’m almost too emotional to write this, and it’s almost New Year’s Eve, so, for once, I’m at a loss for words. What can I say but thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you? To Patric King and Su from House of Pretty, illustrators Jesse Ewing and (righteously lupine) Carolita Johnson, and the New Yorker librarians, Jon Michaud and Erin Overbey, whose clever minds are only outdone by their open hearts, and who have taken their fabulous Emdashes Ask the Librarians column all the way to The Big Show. To David Remnick and the New Yorker staff, from 1925 on out, for being there week in and week out, in the best and worst of times—proving that the life of the mind, the world of the page, and the shimmering pixels of the screen can be noble, beautiful, truthful, and funny causes to which to dedicate oneself. To you, reader. Stay with us; we’ll be here.


I’m happy to stay with you. I enjoy your company. We share a passion for the best magazine in the world. All the best in 2010!

Post a comment

(If you haven't left a comment here before, it may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Thanks for waiting.)

2008 Webby Awards Official Honoree