Editors’ Picks


Made in America

White House veterans helped a Gulf monarchy build a secret surveillance unit that was used to target human rights activists, journalists, and dissidents. It was called Project DREAD.

We Are All We Have

While caring for her mother post-surgery and her grandmother during her final days, Megan Stielstra wonders who’s really taking care of who.

Lovers in Auschwitz, Reunited 72 Years Later. He Had One Question.

The heart-warming story of Holocaust survivors David Wisnia and Helen Spitzer, young lovers at Auschwitz, who got to meet one last time before she died at 100 last year. At the meeting, “Zippi,” as she was known then, revealed she’d used her position as a privileged inmate and a graphic designer at the camp five times to keep Wisnia from being shipped to a worse camp.

This Fish House in Maine Is an Icon

But of what, exactly? On beauty, authenticity, and community in the Instagram age.

Ghosts of the Future

A massive Canadian fossil trove reminds us how fleeting life on Earth can be—and how much peril we’re in.

New York City Paid McKinsey Millions to Stem Jail Violence. Instead, Violence Soared.

The corporate consulting firm reported bogus numbers and flailed in a project at Rikers Island. Today, assaults and other attacks there are up almost 50 percent.

The Age of Instagram Face

Jia Tolentino goes undercover into the world of plastic surgery, where everyone wants to look like an already-warped version of Kim Kardashian.

‘This Is Small Talk Purgatory’: What Tinder Taught Me About Love

Just when she is about to give up on finding real human connection on a dating app, C.J. Hauser meets a mate — who stays in her life for a while.

Will Lloyd Center Last Another Christmas? A Week Inside a Mall on the Edge

One of Portand, Oregon’s oldest shopping centers has gone from thriving to ragged. During the busiest shopping week of the year, two reporters spent time inside it to understand the decline and search for signs of hope.

Self-Portrait as a Human Interest Story

Emi Nietfeld considers an assortment of adversities that both hurt and buoyed her in her youth, and interrogates how the narrative of resilience minimizes suffering.

The Complicated, Problematic Influence of TripAdvisor Restaurant Reviews

“Despite its mediocre reputation in New York’s food world, Olio e Piú was busy in part because at the time, it was ranked the No. 1 restaurant in New York City — on TripAdvisor.”

Books Are Not Products, They Are Bridges: Challenging Linear Ideas of Success in Literary Publishing

With five books to her name, an innovative author untangles the ways the white, patriarchal, capitalist publishing economy shapes authors’ sense of self-worth, literary identity, and inherited ideas about big versus small presses, and good versus break-out books.

Under the Weather

Ash Sanders considers the heavy psychological cost of climate change and society-at-large’s strangely dismissive view of those who routinely make personal sacrifices in order to help the planet survive.

The Ladder Up

“The term “inner city” has never provided an accurate map of racialized urban poverty—what’s inner about a geography that drifts with the people it stigmatizes?—but I’ve always found it vaguely spiritual, as if the city carries a secret close to its heart, and only poor people are privy to it.”

Even If You Can’t See It: Invisible Disability and Neurodiversity

Bipolar disorder leaves one talented creative writing professor facing the ways a life can break down and get put back together, especially in academia.

At War with the Truth

“A confidential trove of government documents obtained by The Washington Post reveals that senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.”

How Roadkill Became an Environmental Disaster

The vast network of roads carved into Brazil’s sensitive ecosystems improve citizens’ quality of life, but it threatens countless species and the country’s biodiversity, few more than the giant anteater. As scientists develop the growing field of road ecology and grapple with ways to protect biodiversity, they face the larger problem: How can humans protect anything when we keep building new roads?

The Long-Forgotten Vigilante Murders of the San Luis Valley

How racist policies and disenfranchisement helped send two settlers on a killing spree in Colorado Territory.

Where Are the Gay Ladies of Cambodia?

Honeymooning in Cambodia, Lindsey Danis and her wife seek refuge in queer spaces, but struggle to find the acceptance granted to male travelers.

How Two Housekeepers Took On the President — and Revealed that His Company Employed Undocumented Immigrants

An investigative piece about two women who brought to light that, even as President Trump was campaigning and governing on a platform of deporting undocumented immigrants, he was employing many of them. A number of undocumented workers who were employed by the Trump organization, at golf courses and resorts like Mar-a-Lago, took great risks in speaking to reporters. Many of them have lost their jobs and suffered various consequences.