Edith Zimmerman: My Top 6 Longreads of 2011

Edith Zimmerman is a writer and co-editor of The Hairpin.

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“All the Single Ladies,” Kate Bolick, The Atlantic

Kate’s story on the current state of marriage, and men, and women, is sad and happy and fascinating, and just generally makes me want to give her a high-five and roll cigarettes with her, even though neither of us smoke.

“Ask an Abortion Provider,” Dolores P., The Hairpin

Dolores P. wrote this for The Hairpin, the website I edit, and when she first sent it to me—out of the blue—I cried, and then I cried again when it was published, and the comments were so beautiful, but especially when someone left this comment: “I am pro-life, and was very moved by Dolores’s article. Although I really struggle with the ethics behind abortion, I recognize that in the end it’s all about people trying to figure out the best thing to do with their lives.” I had never seen that kind of response before. Actually there must have been at least five times I cried about things having to do with that piece. It made me proud to work where I work.

“The Medium Chill,” David Roberts, Grist

If you’ve ever achieved something you always wanted, and then the happiness lasted for … a couple days, and then you wanted something else, and something else, and there’s this lingering fear that nothing will ever be enough, read this article! This dude has it figured out, and if you just read the article enough times you can maybe bore through the computer and steal his life.

“My Superpower Is Being Alone Forever,” Joe Berkowitz and Joanna Neborsky, The Awl

The illustrations and story on this one are perfect. I love it. Joe is great. I think everyone falls in love with him a little bit here.

“Precarious Beauty,” Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker (sub. required)

I didn’t really know who Daphne Guinness was before this, but rarely have I been so fascinated by anything. I wanted to be everywhere they were, look at everything they saw, not-eat everything they didn’t eat. 

“Now That Books Mean Nothing,” Nell Boeschenstein, The Morning News

Nell writes about the books she didn’t feel like reading after her prophylactic double mastectomy, and her desire to “chug YouTube straight.” She’s funny, smart, thoughtful, and unusually self-aware. It makes me want to sit by her.

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