This week, we’re sharing stories from Anand Gopal, Óscar Martínez, Erica Lenti, T.J. Quinn, and Matt Zoller Seitz.

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1. The Other Afghan Women

Anand Gopal | The New Yorker | September 6, 2021 | 9,900 words

“In the countryside, the endless killing of civilians turned women against the occupiers who claimed to be helping them.”

2. Mourning the Dead, and Fighting for the Living

Óscar Martínez | El Faro | August 27, 2021 | 7,800

“New York was one of the states hit hardest by the pandemic in the United States. The hundreds of thousands of undocumented migrants who live there suffered both the virus and its ravages: mass graves, widespread contagion, hunger, debt, overcrowded housing, unemployment—just some of the legacies of 2020. After years of struggle, many must start all over again.”

3. Cases of Missing Trans People Are Rarely Solved. A Married Pair of Forensic Genealogists Is Hoping to Change That.

Erica Lenti | Xtra Magazine | September 1, 2021 | 3,645 words

“Resolving any Doe case is, at its core, about restoring dignity to the dead. But that is especially pertinent in cases of trans and gender nonconforming people, who are routinely harassed, sexualized, overpoliced and dehumanized. The TDTF’s work is also about restoration, righting the historical wrongs of institutions that have overlooked trans people. It is not easy work, but the Redgraves consider it necessary. If we want to begin the process of undoing decades of harm that systemic transphobia has caused, they say, this is one painful but crucial place to begin.”

4. “Is This My Life Now?” Justin Foster’s—and My—Struggle With Long-Haul COVID

T.J. Quinn | ESPN | August 16, 2021 | 6,670 words

“From our first conversation, we connected about what it was like to suddenly no longer be yourself, and the constant self-doubt that came with it. If we can’t do the things we used to do, then who are we?”

5. Death of a Storyteller

Matt Zoller Seitz | Vulture | September 7, 2021 | 3,450 words

“Rare is the actor who can locate the specific in the universal and vice versa. Michael K. Williams was that actor.”