“Snow is inherently nostalgic. It encourages you to travel back and think about your life. I think it’s something about the way it blankets reality, sort of erasing the present one dead pixel at a time. And that makes room for the past,” says Tomer Hanuka, about his image “Perfect Storm.”
It may be his first cover for The New Yorker, but Hanuka conceived of the drawing a few years ago.
“I thought of it after reading ‘Indianapolis (Highway 74),’ by Sam Shepard—a short story that ran in The New Yorker,” Hanuka explains.
“It’s about a middle-aged man stumbling into a former lover in a hotel lobby during a snow storm. He can’t quite place her at first, but after some minutes it hits him. Here is the quote:
…and then I do suddenly get a picture of that time, a fleeting memory of a morning facing a New York window with a bowl clenched between my naked knees, and I say, just to be saying something, “Your hair is even redder than I remember,” which makes her burst out laughing, happy that I haven’t abandoned the game.
“I moved to New York in my early twenties, after being in the Israeli Army for three years,” Hanuka says. “I have this image of myself in my first rental apartment, sitting on the edge of the bed and staring at the window. You encounter the world as an adult for the first time—I think that’s what the story was about. That’s a powerful thing. Every window you stared through before was your parent’s world, and now, suddenly, you’re in a city. You’re washed with optimism and a sense of freedom—you’ve just been liberated and that’s amazing. And then you realize you can do very little, and it’s terribly disappointing. But the heartache and all that, that comes later.”