David Grann tells the story of Henry Worsley, a British military man and “apostle” of polar adventurer Ernest Shackleton. Worsley earned fame by retracing Shackleton’s failed expedition to reach the South Pole. He, along with two teammates reached their destination on January 9th, 2009. A case study in the art of story pacing, this piece is a testament to the triumphs and perils of human ambition and endurance.
A story of love and revolution in Cuba. William Morgan was a free-spirited American drawn to Cuba to help Castro fight, only to grow disenchanted with his embrace of communism:
“One day in the spring of 1958, while Morgan was visiting a guerrilla camp for a meeting of the Second Front’s chiefs of staff, he encountered a rebel he had never seen before: small and slender, with a face shielded by a cap. Only up close was it evident that the rebel was a woman. She was in her early twenties, with dark eyes and tawny skin, and, to conceal her identity, she had cut her curly light-brown hair short and dyed it black. Though she had a delicate beauty, she locked and loaded a gun with the ease of a bank robber. Morgan later said of a pistol that she carried, “She knows how to use it.”
“Her name was Olga Rodríguez.”
[Featuring Writing] Rodrigo Rosenberg knew that he was about to die. It wasn’t because he was approaching old age—he was only forty-eight. Nor had he been diagnosed with a fatal illness; an avid bike rider, he was in perfect health. Rather, Rosenberg, a highly respected corporate attorney in Guatemala, was certain that he was going to be assassinated.
Steve O’Shea, a marine biologist from New Zealand, is one of the hunters—but his approach is radically different. He is not trying to find a mature giant squid; rather, he is scouring the ocean for a baby, called a paralarva, which he can grow in captivity. This year, he told me, he would venture out during the summer nights of the Southern Hemisphere, when giant squid released their babies. “Come on down, mate,” he said. “We’ll see if we can’t find the bloody thing and make history.”
The man who keeps finding famous fingerprints on uncelebrated works of art.
The many lives of Frédéric Bourdin.