The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Kavitha Surana and Hannah Dreier, Garrett M. Graff, Dani Shapiro, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, and Lauren Hough.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Kavitha Surana and Hannah Dreier, Garrett M. Graff, Dani Shapiro, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, and Lauren Hough.

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1. The Hunted: What Happens When You Say No to MS-13

Kavitha Surana and Hannah Dreier | ProPublica | December 31, 2018 | 10 minutes (2,650 words)

A terrifying investigation into the MS-13 gang and its effect on a Long Island town. Some teens were recruited; those who refused to join were brutally attacked with machetes, and then inexplicably targeted for deportation by ICE.

2. Pan Am Flight 103: Robert Mueller’s 30-Year Search for Justice

Garrett M. Graff | Wired | December 27, 2018 | 23 minutes (5,822 words)

Today, Robert Mueller heads the investigation into Russian collusion in the 2016 US presidential election. At Wired, Garrett M. Graff reports on one of Mueller’s perhaps lesser known but nonetheless fascinating and insightful previous assignments: at one time, Mueller oversaw the US’ investigation into the the bombing of Pan Am Flight 103.

3. How a DNA Testing Kit Revealed a Family Secret Hidden for 54 Years

Dani Shapiro | Time Magazine | January 3, 2019 | 6 minutes (1,599 words)

A personal essay by memoirist Dani Shapiro about discovering, accidentally through DNA testing, that the father she knew was not her biological parent. In the piece she advocates for the rights of children produced through assisted reproduction, after decades in which those of parents and donor prevailed, and children were kept in the dark about their true parentage.

4. Margot Kidder Played Every Character, No Matter How Small, with a Vivid Inner Life

Taffy Brodesser-Akner | The New York Times Magazine | December 28, 2018 | 7 minutes (1,853 words)

A moving tribute to Margot Kidder, as told through the words of her daughter, Maggie McGuane.

5. I Was A Cable Guy. I Saw The Worst Of America.

Lauren Hough | HuffPost | December 30, 2018 | 24 minutes (6,151 words)

Lauren Hough recounts a decade of bizarre, bittersweet, and dangerous jobs she was assigned while working as a cable tech in the Virginia suburbs of Washington, D.C.