The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories by Ijeoma Oluo, Michael Hall, Erika Hayasaki, Jerry Saltz, and Caren Chesler.

Rachel Dolezal (Colin Mulvany/The Spokesman-Review via AP, File)

This week, we’re sharing stories by Ijeoma Oluo, Michael Hall, Erika Hayasaki, Jerry Saltz, and Caren Chesler.

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1. The Heart of Whiteness

Ijeoma Oluo | The Stranger | April 19, 2017 | 17 minutes (4,300 words)

Ijeoma Oluo traveled to Spokane, Washington, to sit at a kitchen table with Rachel Dolezal, who is jobless and living in a month-to-month rental, hoping her new book will start something, anything, to get money coming in.

2. The Trouble with Innocence

Michael Hall | Texas Monthly | March 2017 | 34 minutes (8,622 words)

For nearly 40 years, Kerry Max Cook fought to clear his name after being wrongfully convicted in a murder case. So why did he ask for his conviction back? Michael Hall reports on what happened to an innocent man after spending years in prison.

3. End Pain Forever

Erika Hayasaki | Wired | Apr 18, 2017 | 19 minutes (4,961 words)

Steven Pete has a rare neurological condition that makes him unable to feel pain. Pam Costa has the opposite neurological condition — she feels pain constantly, as if her body is on fire. They both share a genetic link that has helped scientists understand why we experience pain and how to treat it.

4. My Life As a Failed Artist

Jerry Saltz | Vulture | Apr 17, 2017 | 17 minutes (4,391 words)

Jerry Saltz, New York Magazine’s senior art critic, revisits his own short career as a Dante-obsessed artist in late-seventies Chicago.

5. The Blood of the Crab

Caren Chesler | Popular Mechanics | Apr 13, 2017 | 14 minutes (3,555 words)

Horseshoe crab blood is an irreplaceable medical marvel — biomedical companies bleed 500,000 of them every year. Can this creature that’s been around since the dinosaurs be saved?