The magazine, which covers politics, TV, movies, art, sex, fashion, books and daily news, shows the power of long-form journalism with a sensitive, far-reaching profile of Heather Heyer, the young working-class woman (shown at left) killed by a car attack in Charlottesville, Va., following a white supremacist demonstration.
The portrait of a young woman striving to overcome self-doubt and a shortage of opportunities was written by Gail Sheehy, one of New York magazine's all-time great reporters and writers. The piece, like most of the rest of the magazine's work, is available online.
One of the few women who gained fame during the new journalism era. Sheehy shows that she's lost none of her reporting and writing skill over the years, illuminating Heyer's life with details highlighting the young paralegal's compassion for others and commitment to social justice.
The profile, "What Heather Heyer Knew," uses Heyer's personal story to cast light on the wider threats of white supremacy. Heyer's friends and family give heart-breaking testimony about how she affected their lives. The article reconstructs Heyer's actions on the Saturday she died, a victim of circumstance and the failure of local police to control the turmoil engendered by the white supremacists. Heyer was among the nonviolent counter demonstrators who lived in the city, the home of the University of Virginia.
In tracing Heyer's activities during her final hours, Sheehy gives one of the best accounts of the Charlottesville violence. The piece recalls some of the best New Journalism accounts of 1960s unrest.
The wife of legendary magazine editor and New York founder Clay Felker, Sheehy gained fame as the author of "Passages," about how adults make life decisions. Mocked by some as superficial, the best-selling book was a major cultural force.
In recent years, Sheehy wrote one of the best journalistic memoirs, "Daring, My Passages," about her New York career and life with Felker. Southern Bookman reviewed the book in 2014.