"The New York Review of Books": Where the literati find love

Looking for a Mr. Darcy-type? The literary journal remains one way to find gentleman (and lady) callers


Katie McDonough
February 14, 2013 11:25PM (UTC)

Disappointed by the available stock of suitors on Internet dating sites? Opposed to algorithmal love on principle? Worried your date won't get your "Ulysses" references?

Then why not let the New York Review of Books arrange your next blind date?

Celebrating its 50th anniversary this month, the literary journal that Tom Wolfe once called "the chief theoretical organ of Radical Chic" has been facilitating the union of the literati's not-so-theoretical organs since its founding in 1963.

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And while the magazine's associate publisher, Catherine Tice, couldn't tell you why the journal decided to run personal ads, she can quote you the very first one: "Wife wanted: intelligent, beautiful, 18 to 25, broad-minded, sensitive, affectionate. For accomplished artist and exciting life. NYR box 1432," she told NPR.

Other favorites from the associate publisher:

One-breasted woman seeks one-armed man.

Portly, handsome man, 81 summers, some hair and teeth, ample supply blue pills; seeking 90+ foxy cougar, to snuggle under afghan, swap podiatry, colonoscopy, and dental stories; knowing "Hut-sut rawlson" and "Mairzy Doats" a plus. Large type for response.

Fannie Mae with troubled assets, bored with Freddie Mac, seeks well-regulated stimulus package from counterparty too big to fail. No cash for clunkers.

But perhaps the most famous ad in the New York Review of Books never ran at all. In Woody Allen's "Annie Hall," Allen's Alvy Singer overhears a heady first-date conversation, and decodes the literary mystique behind the personals thusly:

"Thirtyish academic wishes to meet woman who's interested in Mozart, James Joyce, and sodomy."


Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at kmcdonough@salon.com.

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