Harper’s Magazine has revised its Folio section, printing the first chapter novelist John le Carré‘s A Delicate Truth. The magazine also published Afterword by the great spy novelist.
The series began in 1992 with “Pafko at the Wall” by Don DeLillo. In a publisher’s note, John R. MacArthur shared a bit of history about the Folio section, adding some editorial history about fears for long form writing in magazines. Check it out:
Like many things in the history of Harper’s, Folio was conjured from a mix of editorial vision and practical necessity. When Tina Brown was appointed editor of The New Yorker in June 1992, I assumed she would begin running much shorter pieces. Harper’s response, I told Lewis Lapham, Michael Pollan, and Gerry Marzorati at a hastily organized lunch, should be from time to time to run much longer pieces that might not only satisfy the cravings of frustrated New Yorker readers but also accommodate Harper’s contributors who simply needed more space to say what they wanted to say … We’re still committed to concision, of course, but in this age of web-driven snippets, we believe there’s all the more need for writers to be able to think in depth and at sufficient length to tell complex stories.