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This week, we’re sharing stories from Brian Trapp, Alison Kinney, Kate Wagner, Willy Staley, and Suzannah Showler.

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1. Twelve Words

Brian Trapp | Kenyon Review | September 1, 2019 | 28 minutes (7,183 words)

For a vivacious, disabled man with a limited vocabulary, his twin brother’s name came to communicate a range of ideas and emotion. But when it came time to decide his fate, who could really speak for Danny?

2. The Rejection Lab

Alison Kinney | Gay Magazine | September 4, 2019 | 14 minutes (3,663 words)

Alison Kinney visits a Stony Brook University laboratory where the physical and emotional effects of social rejection are studied, and becomes a subject herself.

3. Strike With the Band

Kate Wagner | The Baffler | September 3, 2019 | 15 minutes (3,772 words)

“Classical musicianship is better understood as a job, a shitty job.”

4. King of Pop

Willy Staley | The New York Times Magazine | August 29, 2019 | 21 minutes (5,293 words)

Tyshawn Jones made a name for himself in the skateboarding world by performing spectacular tricks on the chaotic streets of New York. At 20, he’s already opened a restaurant, founded his own hardware company, and was named Thrasher’s “Skater of the Year.”

5. Céline Dion is Everywhere

Suzannah Showler | The Walrus | August 29, 2019 | 23 minutes (5,957 words)

“As she leaves Vegas and heads back into the world, nearly four decades into her career, a full-blown Célinaissance has been declared. But why is her celebrity suddenly so pressing, so meaningful, so of this moment? Céline isn’t exactly new—just about everyone already knows the basic story: born and raised outside Montreal, a preteen singing sensation by fourteen….She’s been around for so long that much of the world has no conscious memory from the Before Céline era: she has always been the soundtrack to grocery store aisles, cab rides, the corniest parts of every cornball movie you hate to love.”