Editors’ Picks

Picks

As Goes the South, so Goes the Nation

Princeton professor Imani Perry considers how Alabama, her home state, has remained stuck in the past as well as how it continues to transform.

Misogyny is Boring As Hell

Journalist Lila Shapiro speaks to Carmen Maria Machado, author of the short story collection Her Body and Other Parties, about her upcoming television series and the unfolding of the #metoo movement within the literary world.

Watermarks

Water, water everywhere in the new issue of Lapham’s Quarterly. Read the prelude.

It Isn’t That Shocking

Popular culture likes to depict electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) as sinister and dangerous. Leslie Kendall Dye reflects on the myths surrounding the treatment that saved her life.

Sex Workers vs. The Internet

Since the dawn of the internet, online platforms have allowed clients to take advantage of sex workers. Now, they’re fighting back.

A Beginner’s Guide to Fly Fishing With Your Father

It was the place he came to feel wild, and I was ready to trespass into the world of men.

The Difference Between Being Broke and Being Poor

It’s a recognition that comes in the aisle of a grocery store.

The Cold War and its Fallout

A personal essay in which Vincent Czyz, a son approaching middle age, looks back on a volatile relationship with his father.

Lost: Struggling to Cope with Millions of Unclaimed Items in Tokyo

When things get lost in the world’s largest city, they often end up at the Metropolitan Police Department’s lost and found center. So which one of these 3,000 umbrellas is yours?

The Fight for the Right to Be Cremated by Water

“Aquamation,” a greener form of body disposal, is gaining acceptance in America. But some powerful groups are fighting to stop it.

A Company Built on a Bluff

Vice Media grew from a free alternative magazine into a company with 3,000 employees and a multi-billion-dollar valuation. It’s also been investigated for sexual misconduct and has struggled to deliver on its promise of bringing millennials back to television, raising questions about its future.

When Hamlet Starts Showing Up in Federal Court

Lawyers have long set a precedent for citing Shakespeare in trial. During these murky, divided days the Bard’s words may ring truer than e’er. 

Feminize Your Canon: Olivia Manning

The first in a new series at the Paris Review, featuring “underrated and underread” female authors. This one profiles British Novelist Olivia Manning (1908-1980), known best for her novel School for Love and for her Balkan and Levant trilogies. Manning’s books featured less likable women characters, who might have been better appreciated if they were introduced now. A contemporary of Iris Murdoch and Kingsley Amis, she was jealous of their greater fame.

NASA is Learning the Best Way to Grow Food in Space

Sarah Scoles on how learning to grow food in space is a critical milestone to furthering space exploration, because astronauts simply can’t haul all the food they’ll need to thrive during long absences from Earth.

Dorothy Allison: Tender to the Bone

Amy Wright interviews novelist, activist, and feminist Dorothy Allison on class, how poverty can influence a life’s path, the definition of a working-class heroine, and the role of women writers in literature.

Inside Palmer Luckey’s Bid to Build a Border Wall

A company named Anduril Industries is testing a sophisticated digital wall, called Lattice, to prevent unauthorized crossings along the US-Mexico border. Instead of using a fence and barbed wire, Lattice uses cameras, virtual reality and radar. If the system works, Anduril hopes to become a major player in the defense industry. But are the politcal values of its co-founder, Palmer Luckey, reason for concern?

What It’s Like to Be One of the Few Men Who Volunteer as Abortion Clinic Escorts

His job? To protect women from pro-life protesters.

Underpaid and Exhausted: The Human Cost of Your Kindle

At a recent awards ceremony, the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, said, “I’m very proud of our working conditions and very proud of the wages we pay”. So why do the temporary Chinese “dispatch workers” who make Amazon Kindles and smart speakers earn barely $2 an hour, have to ask permission to use the toilet, and receive standard hourly rates for overtime, in violation of Chinese labor law?

Brain in a Bucket

A Dallas doctor’s cutting-edge technique to identify brain matter helped convict an alleged axe murderer. But where exactly did the doctor get the brains?

Wrestling With My Father

In this personal essay, Brian Gresko considers the lingering consequences when the only touches between father and son are abusive ones.