The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Chelsea G. Summers, Linda Villarosa, Ben Smith, Chappell Ellison, and Louisa Thomas.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Chelsea G. Summers, Linda Villarosa, Ben Smith, Chappell Ellison, and Louisa Thomas.

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1. Aging Ghosts in the Skincare Machine

Chelsea G. Summers | Medium | April 10, 2018 | 19 minutes (4,999 words)

In this incisive reported essay written as part of Roxane Gay’s Unruly Bodies series, Chelsea G. Summers mines her own fears, writing about the skin as a battleground for many women terrified by aging’s effect on their birthday suit.

2. Why America’s Black Mothers and Babies Are in a Life-or-Death Crisis

Linda Villarosa | The New York Times Magazine | April 11, 2018 | 42 minutes (10,612 words)

Linda Villarosa reports on the racial disparities in health care that contribute to black women being three to four times as likely to die from pregnancy-related causes as their white counterparts, and black infants being more than twice as likely to die as white infants. Threaded through the piece is the story of Simone Landrum, who lost a baby girl after doctors dismissed her pain and symptoms of pre-eclampsia, but delivered a healthy son with the help of a doula through a subsequent pregnancy.

3. This Is What It Was Like Learning To Report Before Fake News Was The Biggest Problem In The World

Ben Smith | BuzzFeed | April 8, 2018 | 17 minutes (4,300 words)

BuzzFeed editor-in-chief Ben Smith recalls what it was like working as a young reporter in Belarus in 2001. One of his first major stories resulted in his source being beaten and thrown in jail — or so he thought, until he discovered the truth more than 15 years later.

4. Compulsion: Where Object Meets Anxiety

Chappell Ellison | Design Observer | August 18, 2009 | 12 minutes (3,158 words)

In this poignant personal essay, Chappell Ellison recalls her brother’s crippling Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and how their family coped with his rituals as his disease worsened.

5. How Far Can Becky Hammon Go in the N.B.A.?

Louisa Thomas | The New Yorker | April 10, 2018 | 23 minutes (5,882 words)

A WNBA legend and basketball Olympian, Becky Hammon made further history when she was hired as an assistant coach with the San Antonio Spurs, the first-ever female assistant on the NBA sidelines. And judging by her career trajectory, along with a nudge from coaching legend Gregg Popovich, she might as well be the first head coach.