Gender Nuetral

Hermaphrodite in the Louvre

In the March 5, 2007 issue of The New Yorker, Lauren Collins wrote a Talk of the Town piece about contretemps between Frank Bruni, New York Times food critic, and Jeffrey Chodorow, a chef perhaps best known for his nationally televised Rocco’s failure in The Restaurant. The dust-up blossomed into a full page ad placed by Mr. Chodorow in The Times.
In her piece, Ms Collins wrote of another (smaller) response some years earlier…”an author placed a series of notices, under the name of a character from her novel, directed at the paper’s lead book reviewer. ‘Yoo-Hoo! My Cute Kakutani!’ they read. ‘Lieb Goldkorn is calling.'”
The latest issue of the magazine carries this letter, from Leslie Epstein, the author of the Lieb Goldkorn novels, “Lauren Collins and the fact-checkers at The New Yorker do not have to feel too bad about mistaking my gender. When I was born, Leslie Howard was all the rage; hence the name of my parent’s little boy. Then along came Leslie Caron, and everything went to pot. With my own experience as a guide, I strongly advise all new parents to give their children utterly unambiguous names. Like Caligula.”

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