n+1 debuted in 2004 with guns blazing: Its first issue opened with a bold discussion of the 'intellectual situation' that criticized the shortcomings of various prominent writers and magazines. (The editors can take their lumps, too-in the third issue they printed New Republic senior editor James Wood's lengthy response to that critique.)
We have found that n+1 is always thoughtful and surprising: At the end of every essay, you can't help but think that you've just read the masterwork of that author's career. Credit for this is due to the writers, of course, but also to the architects of what is probably the best-edited magazine in our library this year. Each story-each word, for that matter-just belongs.
In researching this magazine, we were surprised to encounter accusations of elitism by some of its fellow New York literary scenesters and litbloggers. We heartily disagree. To us, essays on culture and politics are written gracefully, and easily, through a literary lens. Yes, n+1's four editors are young, male Ivy League graduates, but the writing still doesn't seem ivory tower or self-important-perhaps because it is important.