The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Our top stories of the week, as chosen by the editors at Longreads.

Below, our favorite stories of the week.

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

* * *

1. My President Was Black

Ta-Nehisi Coates | The Atlantic | Dec. 13, 2016 | 67 minutes (16,875 words)

A history of the first African American White House, as Coates examines Obama’s successes and failures — and what came next.

2. ‘I Feel Like a Fraud’: Confessions of a Broken-Down Domestic Violence Lawyer

Cheyna Roth | Broadly | July. 1, 2016 | 11 minutes (2,831 words)

After a year of defeats and unforeseen complications, one domestic violence attorney realizes she’d failed to help the abused women she’d set out to protect, and she reassess her objectives.

3. A.: Only Through Death Will You Learn Your True Identity

Etgar Keret | Wired | Dec. 13, 2016 | 16 minutes (4,020 words)

From Wired’s fiction issue, a story about a man in an institution yearning to live in the real world. We won’t spoil it with any more details.

4. Heat, Hunger and War Force Africans Onto a ‘Road on Fire’

Somini Sengupta | New York Times | Dec. 15, 2016 | 12 minutes (3,174 words)

Climate change has made subsistence farming nearly impossible for West Africans living in hot and arid regions, forcing many of them to leave their homes and become migrants in search of a way to make a living.

5. Chongqing’s Number One Noodle Obsessive

Josh Freedman | Roads and Kingdoms | Nov. 21, 2016 | 12 minutes (3,028 words)

In Sichuan’s spicy-noodle capital, a local xiaomian aficionado takes a visitor on a quest for the ultimate bowl.