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Showtime, Synergy: Exclusive Early Access to a New Story from The Awl and Matt Siegel

This week, we are excited to give Longreads Members exclusive early access to a new story from Matt Siegel, to be published next week on The Awl. Here’s more from The Awl co-founder and editor Choire Sicha:

“Matt Siegel’s very funny nonfiction story of love, deceit and betrayal (oh my God, I know!!!) comes on all unassuming and conversational. Unlike many citizens of the MFA world (Matt’s a recent graduate of the University of Iowa’s Nonfiction Writing Program), he keeps his techniques hidden. We’re really looking forward to publishing this at The Awl, but we’re more thrilled to share it with Longreads Members—like ourselves!—first.”
Siegel (@unabashedqueer) has previously written for The Huffington Post, The Hairpin, Flaunt Magazine, and The Advocate.

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PUBLISHED: March 2, 2014
LENGTH: 29 minutes (7343 words)

Interview With a Pregnant Porn Star

What to expect when you are expecting, and also happen to make your living in porn:

Q: It seems like some people might have a hard time with the whole porn-star-becomes-mom thing. A: Yeah, they kind of don’t mesh well. I remember when I first met porn stars, I was like, “You have kids? How do you do that?” But being around it, I got used to it. I mean, I was shocked when people started having kids just in general. People I went to high school with. You hear about it and you’re like, “Are you old enough for that? Is that OK?” Obviously there are gong to be things. Like, I’m not going to want her to dig through certain boxes in the garage. But on the other hand, there are so many worse things that I’m going to have to steer her through in life. I don’t know if you saw [our pet] bunny sitting in the window? This bunny is awesome. She’s six years old. Best-case scenario, she’ll live to be nine years old. So I’m gonna have this baby, she’s gonna be attached to this bunny, and right when she’s most attached, this rabbit’s going to keel over on her. I’m gonna have to explain death to a three-year-old.

PUBLISHED: Feb. 19, 2014
LENGTH: 11 minutes (2867 words)

Looking Back on 'The X-Files': A Reading List

This week's picks from Emily include stories from The A.V. Club, The Awl, The Hairpin, and Grantland.
PUBLISHED: Jan. 26, 2014

Longreads Best of 2013: Story That Should Not Be Overlooked

Anne Helen Petersen (@annehelen) teaches media studies and writes Scandals of Classic Hollywood for The Hairpin, amongst other things.
PUBLISHED: Dec. 19, 2013

Writing, Depression and Learning How to Handle Attention: A Conversation with Allie Brosh

An interview with the blogger behind Hyperbole and a Half (and a new book of the same name) on narcissism, the Internet, and coping with depression:

I haven’t always had depression. I talked to a few of my friends who knew me when I was in high school, and it was sort of this tragic/hilarious thing to explain to them. They were like, “But you were so happy,” and I’d be like, “That person’s dead, I’m sorry.”

PUBLISHED: Nov. 14, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2590 words)

Running Blind

On jogging, recovery and cemeteries:

"The body is determined to let the mind know when enough is enough. And it doesn’t give up easily. The blister was followed by neck and back pain. Eczema began to stain my legs and a mysterious cold moved through my body, from head to chest to lungs and back. To assuage my disconcerted body, my doctors urged me to perform daily “low impact aerobics.” They tried to fool it with Xanax and Valium. This would make me relax and shrink the blister, they thought. Meds are okay, but aerobics? My ass. My daily trip to the cemetery would have to fulfill three things at once: Walking and jogging would strengthen my body and lower cortisol levels, and the army of tombstones would help me reconcile the heimlich with the unheimlich."
PUBLISHED: Oct. 8, 2013
LENGTH: 8 minutes (2173 words)

Interview with My Mom, One Who Stayed Home

After reading the New York Times Magazine story on women who "opted out," Gay asks her mom about her own experience:

"Sometimes when people talk about women and the workforce, they say a woman cannot truly be equal to a man unless she has her own income. What do you think?

"Well. Equality. What a word. When we choose go outside in the world, when we come home, we’re still mommy. The second shift starts. Equality doesn’t exist, period, even when you share the chores. Some days it can be 70/30 and other days it is 30/70. I don’t think that’s what we should be fighting for.

"What should we be fighting for?

"Men participating more in the home, but it’s petty to say 50/50, because life doesn’t allow that."
AUTHOR:Roxane Gay
PUBLISHED: Aug. 13, 2013
LENGTH: 10 minutes (2650 words)

Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week's picks include the Washingtonian, Newsweek, Los Angeles Magazine, The Morning News, The Hairpin, fiction from Electric Literature and a guest pick by Elise Foley.
PUBLISHED: May 24, 2013

Scandals of Classic Hollywood: Robert Redford, Golden Boy

A look back the actor's career—and his shirtless ping-pong photos:

"Redford comes into the shop where homely Streisand works, and she’s all, 'Look who’s here, America the Beautiful,' and you’re all, YES, TRUER WORDS HAVE NEVER BEEN SAID. But then you get suckerpunched by how effectively this movie convinces you that Redford would fall for Streisand, with all her spunk and unruliness and radicalism. The essential message of this movie is that Hot Guys Like Brains and Sass. The secondary message is that Your Romance Will Then Be Plundered By Asshole Red Mongerers."
PUBLISHED: May 22, 2013
LENGTH: 15 minutes (3971 words)