Last year, I cancelled my subscription to Esquire after the magazine ran an egregious Thomas P.M. Barnett article that, without irony, played Rumsfeld up as a man’s man that you could hang out with. The article was devoid of a single whit of criticism. It was dishonest journalism and I had figured that the magazine was beyond hope, committed towards being more of a mainstream mouthpiece than a place for ideas.
But maybe, just maybe, the recent hiring of Tom Chiarella as fiction editor might be enough for me to resubscribe to the magazine. Not only is Esquire doubling up its fiction, but the November issue features a piece by LBC winner Michael Martone.
It’s reassuring to see Chiarella embrace the magazine’s long legacy of publishing short stories from the likes of Donald Barthelme, Stanley Elkin, Tim O’Brien and Barry Targan. Let us hope that this represents a sign that Esquire EIC David Granger is committed to some shadow of the daring fiction and journalism that Esquire was known for in the 1960s. Perhaps the time has come to give the magazine another chance.