The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

Here are the stories we loved this week.

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1. How Albert Woodfox Survived Solitary

Rachel Aviv | The New Yorker | Jan 16, 2017 | 45 minutes (11,296 words)

A profile of Albert Woodfox, a man originally sentenced to 50 years in prison for robbery. A member of the Black Panthers and the Angola 3, Woodfox spent over four decades in solitary confinement, despite a stunning lack of evidence against him in a prison murder.

2. She Loved Him, and He Died in the Holocaust. Now Her Son Is Bringing His Music Back to Life.

Malcolm Gay | Boston Globe | Jan 5, 2017 | 17 minutes (4,398 words)

A son spends years trying to learn what happened to a talented young musician whom his mother had loved and never forgotten, and recovers some of the music he left behind.

3. This 3,500-Year-Old Greek Tomb Upended What We Thought We Knew About the Roots of Western Civilization

Jo Marchant | Smithsonian | Jan 1, 2017 | 20 minutes (5,091 words)

The recent discovery of the grave of an ancient soldier is challenging accepted wisdom among archaeologists, calling into question our most basic ideas about European history.

4. A Trip of One’s Own

Claire Vaye Watkins | The New Republic | Jan 9, 2017 | 15 minutes (3,936 words)

A review of Ayelet Waldman’s new memoir, A Really Good Day: How Microdosing Made a Mega Difference in My Mood, My Marriage and My Life, that also serves as a personal essay about Vaye Watkins’ marijuana use as she weans off anti-depressants (she writes the piece “a little high”), and the tiny dose of LSD she’s got stashed for trying in the future.

5. Stage Oddity: The Story of David Bowie’s Secret Final Project

Michael Cunningham | GQ | Jan 9, 2017 | 13 minutes (3,487 words)

Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Michael Cunningham tells the story of his unfinished musical with the late David Bowie.