This week, we’re sharing stories from Michael Barajas, Evan Ratliff, Andrew Mckirdy, Raffi Khatchadourian, and Agnes Callard.
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1. The Prison Inside Prison
Michael Barajas | Texas Observer | January 21, 2020 | 25 minutes (6,335 words)
Decades with no personal contact, no way back into the general prison population, cut off from the possibility of parole — solitary confinement is an ongoing experiment in cruelty on human subjects.
2. The Mysterious Lawyer X
Evan Ratliff | The California Sunday Magazine | January 16, 2020 | 48 minutes (12,100 words)
Nicola Gobbo defended Melbourne’s most notorious criminals at the height of a gangland war. They didn’t know she had a secret.
3. Throwaway Society: Rejecting a Life Consumed by Plastic
Andrew McMirdy | The Japan Times | January 10, 2020 | 9 minutes (2,465 words)
Japan is the second-biggest producer of plastic waste per capita, after the US. One journalist tries to spend a week without using single-use plastic and discovers how dependent Japan’s food system has become on disposable plastic.
4. N.K. Jemisin’s Dream Worlds
Raffi Khatchadourian | The New Yorker | January 20, 2020 | 26 minutes (6,746 words)
In Raffi Khatchadourian’s New Yorker profile, N.K. Jemisin recounts the racism she witnessed as a child in Alabama in the ’80s, as well as racism — editorial and otherwise — that she has lived through in her career.
5. Who Wants to Play the Status Game?
Agnes Callard | The Point | January 16, 2020 | 6 minutes (1,549 words)
Hi, nice to meet you, are we playing the Importance Game or the Leveling Game? With a skilled player, it’s hard to tell one from the other.