How New Jersey’s First Coronavirus Patient Survived

James Cai’s case was completely new to his doctors. When he grew severely ill, he tapped a network of Chinese and Chinese-American medical colleagues who helped save his life.

Published: Apr 5, 2020
Length: 24 minutes (6,243 words)

Congratulations, You’re a Congresswoman. Now What?

Ayanna Pressley and Abigail Spanberger were part of a wave of Democrats who took office this year full of hope. Maintaining it has not been easy.

Published: Nov 18, 2019
Length: 57 minutes (14,400 words)

Weinstein’s Complicity Machine

Harvey Weinstein built and relied on relationships with prominent politicians, talent agencies, and media companies to protect himself from abuse allegations. He forced some of his employees to keep him supplied with erectile dysfunction drugs, which were delivered to him before his meetings with women, and threatened their careers if they spoke out.

Published: Dec 6, 2017
Length: 32 minutes (8,000 words)

The Mixed-Up Brothers of Bogotá

The story of how a hospital error led to two pairs of identical twins being raised as two pairs of fraternal twins—one pair in the country and the other in the city—and what happened after the four men discovered the mistake.

Published: Jul 10, 2015
Length: 47 minutes (11,800 words)

Judy Blume Knows All Your Secrets

A profile of the author of “Deenie,” “Forever…” and many other books that conveyed the emotional experiences of adolescence for multiple generations of readers.

Published: May 18, 2015
Length: 16 minutes (4,203 words)

The National Front’s Post-Charlie Hebdo Moment

The National Front, a French ultranationalist fringe party once known for its ties to anti-Semitism, is shedding its controversial image and gaining momentum.

Published: Feb 18, 2015
Length: 26 minutes (6,515 words)

Daniel Radcliffe’s Next Trick Is to Make Harry Potter Disappear

A profile of actor Daniel Radcliffe, who, despite becoming wildly famous at a young age after he starred in the Harry Potter films, has managed to stay earnest, self-aware, and out of the tabloids:

“Rupert Grint, who played Ron Weasley, Harry Potter’s best friend, recently described the long, drawn-out experience of appearing in the films as ‘quite suffocating.’

“Radcliffe, however, rarely betrayed any strain. ‘If he was feeling good, bad, indifferent or terrible,’ says David Yates, who directed the last four Potter films over six and a half years, ‘he carried the perception that everything was lovely and great, even though the pressures were really intense.’

“As Radcliffe explained it: ‘The second you seem down, everyone’s very concerned. It affects the set.’ Temporarily suppressing a mood was easier than bringing a crew of hundreds of people to a halt — it was just another skill he learned on the job, part of keeping the vast machinery around him moving smoothly. ‘If I ever was feeling ill,’ he said, ‘it was: “Get a doctor on set!” “No, I’m fine.” … That feeling makes me not want to worry people.'”

Published: Oct 3, 2013
Length: 25 minutes (6,267 words)

Stephen King’s Family Business

The writer visits Stephen King’s prolific family in Maine. King’s wife Tabitha, his sons Joe and Owen, and his daughter-in-law Kelly Braffet are all published authors. His daughter Naomi is a Unitarian Universalist minister and storyteller:

“Owen can live with selling fewer books than his brother or father, both of whom set unusually high standards for that metric. ‘I think my brother’s and father’s drive for success is greater than mine,’ he said. ‘I just want to sell enough books to be able to justify continuing to write.’ As the youngest of the siblings and the one who stayed home, rather than go to boarding school, he was exposed more often than they were to his father’s growing fame — the snapping cameras everywhere, the strangers forever approaching them. ‘I want to be as successful as I can be while still living a very private life,’ he said, ‘and I think my ambition is probably a little bit limited by that desire.’

“His brother, by contrast, embraces the public’s attention. He recently posed for a series of photos in which he pantomimed being strangled and stabbed by fans, then posted them on Twitter. Owen admired the project but could not relate to the impulse. ‘I don’t want to be choked by a stranger,’ he said. ‘Not even pretend choked.'”

Published: Jul 31, 2013
Length: 25 minutes (6,433 words)

What Happened to the Girls in Le Roy

A group of teenagers in a small town mysteriously fall ill, suffering from uncontrollable twitching. Was the cause environmental, or psychological?

“Before the media vans took over Main Street, before the environmental testers came to dig at the soil, before the doctor came to take blood, before strangers started knocking on doors and asking question after question, Katie Krautwurst, a high-school cheerleader from Le Roy, N.Y., woke up from a nap. Instantly, she knew something was wrong. Her chin was jutting forward uncontrollably and her face was contracting into spasms. She was still twitching a few weeks later when her best friend, Thera Sanchez, captain of one of the school’s cheerleading squads, awoke from a nap stuttering and then later started twitching, her arms flailing and head jerking. Two weeks after that, Lydia Parker, also a senior, erupted in tics and arm swings and hums. Then word got around that Chelsey Dumars, another cheerleader, who recently moved to town, was making the same strange noises, the same strange movements, leaving school early on the days she could make it to class at all. The numbers grew — 12, then 16, then 18, in a school of 600 — and as they swelled, the ranks of the sufferers came to include a wider swath of the Le Roy high-school hierarchy: girls who weren’t cheerleaders, girls who kept to themselves and had studs in their lips. There was even one boy and an older woman, age 36.”

Published: Mar 7, 2012
Length: 30 minutes (7,584 words)

Could Conjoined Twins Share a Mind?

In any other set of twins, the natural conclusion about the two events — Krista’s drinking, Tatiana’s reaction — would be that they were coincidental: a gulp, a twinge, random simultaneous happenstance. But Krista and Tatiana are not like most other sets of twins. They are connected at their heads, where their skulls merge under a mass of shaggy brown bangs. The girls run and play and go down their backyard slide, but whatever they do, they do together, their heads forever inclined toward each other’s, their neck muscles strong and sinuous from a never-ending workout.

Published: May 25, 2011
Length: 28 minutes (7,108 words)