David Remnick is arguably the most powerful editor in the world, yet shies away from publicity. In a world exclusive, author Nicholson Baker takes lunch with the man who has returned The New Yorker to its glory days
David Remnick is 52. He’s got all of his hair, which is black, and he’s got an office with quiet brown carpeting and a desk made of a slab of grainy black wood and a fat-rimmed yellow ceramic cup that holds his pens and his pair of scissors. He’s smart and quick to laugh, and if you sit in one of the square soft chairs in his office, he remembers things about your life that you barely remember. He likes baseball and The Wire and AJ Liebling and spaghetti with squid ink sauce. You might feel jealous of him except that he works too hard and nobody else would want that kind of constant hellish weekly pressure. His wife, Esther Fein, is a writer, and he’s got three kids. He’s the fifth editor of The New Yorker, which may be the best magazine ever published.