Photo by SEIU 775 (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

In this week’s Top 5, we’re sharing stories by Michael Hall, Molly McArdle, Mehreen Kasana, Helen Hollyman, and an interview by Kate Harloe.

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1. The Faces of Obamacare

Michael Hall | Texas Monthly | Feb 14, 2017 | 18 minutes (4,534 words)

As the GOP discusses repealing the Affordable Care Act, it’s essential to look at some of the lives that nationalized health care has improved and saved, and at the activists who helped get eligible people enrolled. Here are a few from Texas.

2. The Rise of Roxane Gay

Molly McArdle | Brooklyn Magazine | Feb 22, 2017 | 18 minutes (4,651 words)

A profile of hyper-prolific essayist, novelist, short story writer, comic book author and tweeter Roxane Gay. Author Molly McArdle brings to light Gay’s prominence not only as a brilliant author, but as one of the literary community’s most upstanding citizens, frequently championing under-recognized writers, and tirelessly battling bigotry of all stripes in various ways — most recently withdrawing her forthcoming book, How to Be Heard, from Simon & Schuster because of their now-canceled plans to publish alt-right provocateur Milo Yiannopoulos’ memoir.

3. The Meaning of Allahu Akbar

Mehreen Kasana | Hazlitt | Feb 9, 2017 | 6 minutes (1,538 words)

An essay on the many true and beautiful meanings you’ve never heard of behind “takbir” — the expression of Muslim faith, “Allahu Akbar” — literally, “God is great.”

4. The Rumpus Interview with George Saunders

Kate Harloe | The Rumpus | Feb 20, 2017 | 23 minutes (5,848 words)

In addition to plenty of great advice for aspiring writers, George Saunders reflects on the creative process for his new novel, Lincoln in the Bardo, the mystery of the “constellation of meaning” — the interviews, notes, and scenes that once distilled become his nonfiction work, and on bold compassion as the right course of resistance under a Trump presidency.

5. Who Is Guy Fieri?

Helen Hollyman | Vice Magazine | Feb 15, 2017 | 28 minutes (7,030 words)

Who is Guy Fieri, really, and how does one get to Flavortown?