Throwaway Society: Rejecting a Life Consumed by Plastic

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.

Source: The Japan Times
Published: Jan 10, 2020
Length: 9 minutes (2,465 words)

Pistol In A Drawer

“The pistol has always been my private affair, a kind of secret lover, more seductive for being clandestine and dangerous. We have this thing, the pistol and I, and I don’t want to betray that.”

Published: Dec 1, 2019
Length: 13 minutes (3,423 words)

N.K. Jemisin’s Dream Worlds

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.

Source: The New Yorker
Published: Jan 20, 2020
Length: 26 minutes (6,746 words)

Through a Glass, Tearfully

Maureen Stanton contemplates her history of crying in inappropriate moments, and considers tears from gender-based and political perspectives.

Source: Longreads
Published: Jan 17, 2020
Length: 25 minutes (6,448 words)

Shadow of a Doubt

In 2011, Michael Shannon was wrongly convicted of murder, even though two jurors voted to acquit him—a result of a Louisiana law rooted in discrimination. For defendants like Shannon and the holdout jurors who believed in their innocence, it has left a bitter legacy.

Published: Jan 16, 2020
Length: 19 minutes (4,800 words)

When a Whisper Network Fails

“What really wounded me wasn’t having to dodge one mediocre writer’s half-assed assaults — it was that I’d reached out for support afterwards and found nothing. It was the unruffled reaction of my peers when I told them what had happened, the implication that I should have known what to expect from him, when I genuinely had no idea at all. It was the words used to minimize his behavior — creepy, sketchy, bad vibes, never liked that guy — spoken by a community whose existence turned on the idea that words were of value.”

Source: The Outline
Published: Jan 13, 2020
Length: 6 minutes (1,668 words)

Can the Fitness Industry and Body Positivity Coexist?

“Is the fitness industry ready to create safe spaces across the board? It’s not clear that everybody even understands the question.”

Source: Elemental
Published: Jan 15, 2020
Length: 14 minutes (3,647 words)

After My Dad Died, I Started Sending Him Emails. Months Later, Someone Wrote Back

After Rax King’s father died in May, 2018, she wrote him emails to remember their relationship and to work through her grief. Stunningly, long after she’d began writing, someone — a living witness to the relationship she had with her dad — wrote back.

Author: Rax King
Source: Glamour
Published: Jan 15, 2020
Length: 7 minutes (1,988 words)

Her Sorority Sisters Suspected She Was Pregnant. What Did Emile Weaver Know?

In April 2015, Emile Weaver gave birth alone in the bathroom of her sorority house at a small liberal arts university in Ohio. Sorority sisters who’d suspected the pregnancy for months discovered her baby that night in the garbage, dead. Alex Ronan investigates what happened to Weaver, the campus response to rumors and confirmation of Weaver’s pregnancy, and how her community reckoned with questions of blame and responsibility before and after the baby’s discovery.

Content warning: This story covers neonaticide, “when a parent kills his or her baby in the 24-hour window after birth.”

Author: Alex Ronan
Source: Elle
Published: Jan 16, 2020
Length: 36 minutes (9,000 words)

The Cat Years

Christine Marshall considers cats and kittens, the poetry of Elizabeth Bishop, and how writing has helped her to express and process her anger, resentment, and grief after a series of miscarriages.

Published: Jan 11, 2020
Length: 19 minutes (4,962 words)