Photo: Muhammad Ahmed

Below, our favorite stories of the week. Kindle users, you can also get them as a Readlist.

Sign up to receive this list free every Friday in your inbox.

* * *

1. Damage

Mariya Karimjee | The Big Roundtable | Jan. 14, 2015 | 42 minutes (10,508 words)

The author, who spent her childhood in Pakistan, underwent a female genital mutilation procedure when she was seven years old. Having lived in the States for many years as a young adult, she reflects on the effects of this procedure on her sexuality and her relationship to her family, especially her mother.

2. The Belfast Operation

Brian Kevin | Down East | Jan. 7, 2015 | 26 minutes (6,600 words)

A vividly reported chronicle of a loose cartel of freewheeling, twenty-something drug dealers who built a cocaine empire in rural Maine in the mid-1980s, along with the undercover operation that brought them down.

3. A River Runs Through It

Rachel Kaadzi Ghansah | The Believer | Jan. 5, 2015 | 20 minutes (5,171 words)

A history of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Lady Studios, which became a safe haven for artists during a time when record companies operated with an “ironfisted grip,” and went on to mentor artists like Jill Scott, Erykah Badu, Mos Def and Talib Kweli, Santigold and Bilal.

4. My Lovely Wife in the Psych Ward

Mark Lukach | Pacific Standard | Jan. 12, 2015 | 20 minutes (5,000 words)

A first-person account of how mental illness reshapes a marriage.

5. What Ruth Bader Ginsburg Taught Me About Being a Stay-at-Home Dad

Ryan Park | The Atlantic | Jan. 10, 2015 | 21 minutes (5,375 words)

Ryan Park decides, after his clerkship with Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, to spend a year at home with his daughter before pursuing a corporate job. This is what he learned about the state of stay-at-home dads in America.