The Top 5 Longreads of the Week

This week, we’re sharing stories from Sarah Weinman, Stephen Rodrick, Bianca Giaever, James Ross Gardner, and Megan Pugh.

This week, we’re sharing stories from Sarah Weinman, Stephen Rodrick, Bianca Giaever, James Ross Gardner, and Megan Pugh.

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1. Before, and After, the Jogger

Sarah Weinman | New York Magazine | June 3, 2019 | 32 minutes (8,225 words)

The real rapist in the Central Park Five case attacked many other women. The survivors speak for the first time.

2. All-American Despair

Stephen Rodrick | Rolling Stone| May 30, 2019 | 37 minutes (9,368 words)

“It’s easy to bash white middled-aged men in America. As a member of that privileged group, I’ll admit that much of the bashing has been warranted: No group in the history of the world has been given and squandered more than the white man. Yet the American white man is responsible for enough suicides annually that Madison Square Garden could not hold all the victims. And no matter how privileged, that’s somebody’s dad, someone’s friend, someone’s brother and someone’s husband.”

3. A Natural Mother

Bianca Giaver | The Believer | June 1, 2019 | 23 minutes (5,800 words)

Vivia spent a large portion of her monthly budget on the purchase. She waited twenty-five long days, and when the USPS box appeared, it was heavier than she’d expected. For a moment, she wondered if maybe there was a real baby inside. But, of course, it was a doll.

4. A Song of Shadow and Light

James Ross Gardner | Seattle Met | May 28, 2019 | 16 minutes (4,086 words)

“The Tacoma Refugee Choir formed to reach out to the most vulnerable. Its founder didn’t anticipate its impact on her — or her city.”

5. Vessel of Antiquity

Megan Pugh | Oxford American | Mar 19, 2019 | 20 minutes (5,234 words)

For musical performance artist Leon Redbone, the past was all the material he needed, except his own, which he replaced with a persona. “I don’t have a past,” he said. “The past begins tomorrow.” Strange enough to earn comparisons to Frank Zappa and Tom Waits, Redbone often got shelved in record stores’ rock sections, even though rock, as one of his band members said, was “the one style of music he didn’t play.” Redbone passed away on May 30, and this profile unravels some mysteries while deepening others.