the act of looking out the window

When trapped indoors, the act of looking out the window can become a simple, nearly sublime pleasure. We talked to the cartoonist Tom Gauld about his latest cover for the magazine…

Do you have any favorite sights outside your window?

It’s nice to see more of my neighbors as they walk along the street—usually, many of them would be at work all day. And, when I take walks, I see a lot more people sitting by their front windows, often working on a laptop. The idea for this cover started when I walked past a building and noticed that there was a figure in almost every one of the windows. I tried to imagine an everyday event that might attract the attention of everyone in a building.

Do you have a dog, and, if you don’t, do you envy those who do?

I don’t have a dog, and really I’m more of a cat person, but I do see the appeal of a dog. It’s nice to have a reason to go out for a walk (or two) every day. I usually walk in the park with my younger daughter before she starts her online-school day, and almost everyone else is out there walking a dog. The dogs always seem very happy.

— Françoise Mouly, excerpts from her interview of Tom Gauld on his magazine cover titled “Captive Audience” in The New Yorker, March 15, 2021

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